December 2023 - Connectivity | 5G Networks | Digital Infrastructure

Upgraded Digital Products at the Kick-Off of the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Network connectivity is increasingly up and running at sporting events, as exhibited by Alexander Mager from FOLAN in a case study on the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Upgraded Digital Products at the Kick-Off of the 2023 Rugby World Cup-web

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From September 8 to October 28, France hosted the 2023 Rugby World Cup, a global event and a popular success with over two million spectators attending at least one match in one of the nine World Cup stadiums.

To welcome the public and teams in optimum conditions, the French stadiums wanted to make improvements, particularly to their network infrastructures. This was the case, for example, with the Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Étienne and the OL Stadium in Lyon.

We at FOLAN were approached by our long-standing customer, a company specialized in the deployment of telecoms infrastructures and digital development, to upgrade the 5G installations in the two stadiums. The aim was to provide additional connectivity in compliance with the requirements of World Rugby, the international body that manages rugby union, and especially the organization of the Rugby World Cup.

Our sales teams at FOLAN listened to the customer’s needs and provided a quick and tailored response. This resulted in multiple orders, including micromodule cables, zipcords, swiveling and pivoting optical patch panels, flat joint enclosures, outdoor optical connection points, and optical telecommunication outlets.

Besides the quality of the products and fast delivery times, the customer’s project managers also received support from our FOLAN experts throughout the project, which started in May 2022. These adjustments allowed the 280,000 and 160,000 spectators in Lyon and Saint-Étienne, respectively, to have access to high-speed Internet (5G) inside and around the stadiums, as well as to enjoy live match broadcasts on giant screens.

Upgrading fiber optic cabling

Preparing the World Cup has been a long-term project but had its moments of rush, particularly in the run-up to the event. One week before the kick-off of the opening game, our long-term client, one of the largest telecommunications providers in France, was finalizing its installations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. They realized they needed equipment to complete the installation at the Toulouse Stadium in the southwest of France and contacted our company’s dedicated sales representatives. The customer’s requirement was to complete the fiber optic cabling for their equipment, which was due to be installed five days later.

To meet the deadlines, our teams at FOLAN worked urgently to offer a suitable solution to the French telecom operator: around fifty 2FO FTTA breakout cables, commonly used for the operation of 5G antennas. For an event of this scale, among their various suppliers for this product range, the French operator turned to our company for several reasons: the quality of its products, FOLAN’s responsiveness, and its tradition of good customer service. Thanks to our company’s stock, the products were received two days after the request was made, the installation was carried out on time, and our products attended the matches of New Zealand, Japan, and Fiji.

This network, deployed sustainably, will allow the Toulouse Stadium’s spectators to have continuous access to high-speed Internet. This is sure to delight the approximately 33,000 regular spectators who previously struggled to find network connectivity during matches. Moving into the future, this success story will be replicated at other upcoming sporting events, including the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.


Alexander Mager joined FOLAN GmbH as Key Account Manager in May 2023. Prior to joining FOLAN, he worked for more than 25 years in product management, business development, marketing and sales at companies such as Schneider Electric, General Electric, and Eaton Electric.


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