Case study: Riding high at the Tour de France

Case study: Riding high at the Tour de France

Greatest cycling event on earth relies on TETRAPOL network for event security.

 

How would you like to manage event security for a competition that involves:

  • 15 million spectators
  • 55 kilometres over six countries
  • 21 stages of mountain, summit and flat terrain
  • 3.2 million Euros in prize money
  • 180 of the best bicyclists on earth

They're numbers that could add up to a white-knuckle ride for even the most sophisticated event security force. And they describe the Tour de France, an annual, three-week bike race for professional cyclists - aka the greatest cycling event on earth.

No wonder event security forces relied on RUBIS, the secure radio network of the French National Gendarmerie, to keep the 2009 race running smoothly.

CASSIDIAN is modernizing the RUBIS TETRAPOL network. It was a key tool in protecting the athletes and spectators who came to watch Spain's Alberto Contador win his second Tour.

TETRAPOL network for event security

TETRAPOL is a worldwide standard for digital, cellular radio networks that deliver, among other things, the secure encrypted communications required by public safety and security groups, such as:

  • Police
  • Border patrols
  • Coast guards
  • Fire departments

The Gendarmerie became one of the first users of TETRAPOL when the group brought CASSIDIAN in to develop RUBIS in 1988. For the most recent modernisation, CASSIDIAN upgraded the network to TETRAPOL IP.

The Tour de France gave event security forces an opportunity to use some of the upgraded network's new security features for the first time. Among them: regional "inter-RB" conference. It lets officers from different local organisations within the Gendarmerie communicate easily with each other.

That turned out to be a valuable asset at an event that covered 55 kilometres and several French counties. The TETRAPOL network provided shared digital coverage throughout the race, regardless of the route or the number of local Gendarmerie departments involved.

TETRAPOL network for global co-operation

The upgraded TETRAPOL network also supported global co-operation, enabling the Gendarmerie to better co-ordinate the race as it moved through six countries.

At previous events, different organisations within the Gendarmerie had to use direct mode to communicate as they moved with the race. Not so with inter-RB.

"The inter-RB conference greatly improves the quality of communications for escorting cyclists, especially compared to the direct mode we used before."

- Lieutenant Colonel Gilles Martin, who manages the Gendarmerie Nationale's radioelectric networks section

"The inter-RB conference greatly improves the quality of communications for escorting cyclists, especially compared to the direct mode we used before," says Lieutenant Colonel Gilles Martin, who manages the Gendarmerie Nationale's radioelectric networks section.

"And this way of using RUBIS extends the transmission capability to the other officers escorting the publicity caravan, protecting the route and closing roads ahead, and to the various local, regional or even national headquarters that follow this event."

TETRAPOL network means no rough ride

Bottom line? The upgraded TETRAPOL network helped the Gendarmerie ensure that event security for the 2009 Tour de France was no bumpy ride.

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