Scaling the Heights of the G20 Summit
Supplying network and comms to the peak of global meetings.
If conferences were mountain ranges, the G20 Summit would be the Himalayas. The ninth meeting of the G20 heads of government hosted in Brisbane last November drew world leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Shinzo Abe, Hoko Widodo and heads of the European Union, along with 4000 delegates and 2500 media to discuss the global economy and financial cooperation. The event, Australia’s largest ever peacetime security operation, was held over two days in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and Queensland’s Parliament House and Art Gallery and cost an estimated $400m.
As the iron curtain of security fell around Brisbane’s Southbank Precinct, Riedel Australia was busily preparing a robust fibre and radio network to cover the event, deploying the Mediornet real-time fibre infrastructure and more than 200 Hytera DMR radios.
“The brief was simple: the security details must always be able to see the leaders in certain locations,” explained the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (BCEC) AV project manager, Richard Saunders. “We have a pretty good CCTV system here but nothing that would meet the requirements of the various stakeholders involved in this event.”
“The G20 Leader’s Summit was perfectly suited to our solutions,” added Riedel Australia’s Asia Pacific director, Cameron O’Neill. “A number of my crew and I worked on the APEC conference at the Sydney Opera House in 2007 where we also provided some solutions. But technology has changed quite a bit since then, so we were able to provide a much larger scope to the BCEC.”
NO OPTION B
And the scope was certainly large. Alongside the host broadcast services provided by NEP Australia, Riedel and the BCEC provided video feeds to security details, delegates, media rooms and internal TV screens – all of which had to be on the air 24 hours a day, without fail.
“‘Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy. There is no Option B.’ That’s what we were told, and so Mediornet immediately sprung to mind,” Saunders said. “We would get requests during the event – ‘I need to see the Leader’s Room in Office 7 in Exhibition Hall 3!’ – and bang! Three seconds later there it was. Without Mediornet it would have taken us 15 minutes to re-patch everything.”
The security around the event was tight. Even the broadcasters were not allowed in certain areas, meaning that the BCEC had to provide its own feeds for many of the requirements. “G20 allowed us to capture the attention of the international business events audience and showcase [our] expertise in cutting edge audiovisual, technical capabilities and skills,” said BCEC senior project manager, Rebecca Bell.
Mediornet provided transport of the vision feeds to and from the main conference rooms, media suites, hospitality areas, security zones and delegate offices. It also allowed the BCEC team to embed and de-embed any audio source to and from the video streams, so if a delegate needed to hear a specific language on their video feed it was only a mouse-click away.
To support the event, the BCEC expanded its single-mode fibre network, significantly increasing capacity. “As video marches right past HD and into the realm of 4K, multi-mode cable is really going to start limiting people. So this new cabling is really going to help the convention centre in the future,” O’Neill explained.
Mediornet’s ability to route signals in real time was critical to the event. A total of 37 frames were installed throughout the BCEC, giving complete path and signal redundancy to the large number of HD video channels, Ethernet tunnels, and audio and comms channels. Riedel also provided a 24-hour confidence crew for the week of the event, ensuring that nothing went wrong.
Riedel further provided a site-wide digital radio solution for the BCEC and other stakeholders with a new fleet of Hytera. Installed in two sites, the radios were able to seamlessly roam between the two buildings that make up the BCEC.
“The BCEC is a challenging site. It consists of two buildings over a rail corridor,” said Riedel operations manager for the event, Jason Owen. “It’s not as simple as throwing up a single repeater base and hoping for the best, so Hytera’s IP Site Connect was really the only option.”
Using a digital transmission standard instead of analogue, Riedel was able to double the amount of channels in the same spectrum, as well as adding a layer of security to the communications. The IP Site Connect feature of the Hytera radios also allows for connection into bigger, city-wide transmission systems, allowing users to roam between an event site and a wider area – perfect for runners or transport units.
Bosch conference and security systems were the primary communication tools used for the summit, and Congress Rental was selected to supply technical equipment in 15 separate rooms across the three venues including conference microphones, high powered radiations, transmitters, headphones, receivers and cameras.
“The greatest challenge for this event was that we only got confirmation of being the successful tenderer six weeks prior to the event,” Congress Rental managing director Jeremy Ducklin said. The supplier is part of the Congress Rental network of companies, however, allowing access to additional equipment from Singapore, Austria, Slovenia, South Africa, Greece and Switzerland at very short notice.
OPEN TO INTERPRETATION
BCEC hosted the majority of the meetings across the two days. For the Leaders Plenary, 34 Bosch wired conference microphones were used, with interpretation support staff using 32-channel digital infra-red receivers, which enabled them to simultaneously interpret the speaker’s language. The conference mics provided leaders with the interpretation support, made possible through the built-in channel selectors.
Five HD Conference Dome cameras were mounted in the roof trussing system to provide a close up view of all leaders for the interpreters and senior delegates, as well as a wide shot screening the entire conference room. The queuing system feature allowed the Prime Minister to see a list of leaders wishing to speak, and select the leader in the order of his preference.
A finance ministers’ meeting was held in a separate room from the Leaders Plenary at the BCEC and required 34 wired conference microphones and three HD Conference Domes. Seamless integration allowed the cameras to automatically capture the person speaking at the ‘live’ microphone and project them onto surrounding screens.
Other key events included the summit opening meeting at Parliament House, a leaders’ lunch meeting at BCEC, and a formal dinner at the Queensland Art Gallery. Bosch Integrus wireless distribution systems were deployed across all three locations and included high power radiators, 32-channel infra-red receivers and transmitters. The Bosch Integrus Radiator system was essential in providing 16 channels for the wireless Dual Discussion mics and ensuring the conference venue was covered with powerful, uniform IR-radiation.
“The event went exceptionally well,” Ducklin said. “In terms of reliability, Bosch is the best available, that’s why we’re such big fans. 90 per cent of our stock is Bosch. For the G20, of course, nothing went wrong.”
3 × Artist MFR-64 mainframes
10 × RCP-1012E Rack control panels
6 × RCP-1028E Rack control panels
10 × RCP-1112 Rack control panels
8 × DCP-1016E Desktop control panels
12 × C3 Digital wired belt packs
30 × Artist panel headsets
200 × DMR Hytera radios
100 × Covert earpieces
6 × Hytera DMR / analogue repeaters
2 × Leaky coax runs
1.1 km Opticon Quad fibre
14 × Rocknet mic line input
6 × Rocknet mic line output
25 × Mediornet modular frames
14 × Mediornet Compacts
All sourced from Australian rental stock
21 × Bosch VCD-811-ICT HD Conference Domes
241 × Bosch DCN-DISCS-D wired conference microphones
150 × Bosch DCN-WD-D wireless conference microphones
64 × Bosch LBB4512/00 High Power radiators
28 × Bosch INT-TX32 32 channel transmitters
1600 × Bosch LBB4540/32 32 channel receivers and headphones