Such a major summit is a rare occurrence in Hanover - the knock-on effects of the imminent visit of U.S. President Barack Obama and the summit involving other heads of state and government were clear to be seen right from the Saturday, with tightened security checks, roads closed and restrictions placed on public transport.
With these kinds of events, the logistical challenge of ensuring that the public has access to images, sound or video documenting the international summit, despite the lockdown imposed on the political summit venue in Hanover-Herrenhausen, tends to be pushed to the back of the public’s mind.
Almost like clockwork, the Deutsche Telekom Technical Service put in place the relevant infrastructure around the Herrenhausen Palace and the Herrenhausen Gardens practically from scratch in the days before the Obama visit. The Palace was the venue for the formal dinner attended by the President and Chancellor Angela Merkel; a temporary press center was also set up in the Herrenhausen Gardens.
“There were up to 20 of us working here at times,” says Joachim Kratzenstein, who is in charge of the “State occasion” project at Deutsche Telekom. In addition, the seven hotels used by the U.S. delegation in Wolfsburg and Hanover as well as the Congress Center had to be connected up.
A few figures illustrate the kinds of challenges involved: The entire U.S. president’s entourage comprised some 1,000 people, more than 250 international journalists were accredited for the Obama visit, high-ranking delegations had made the journey on the German and European sides.
As a result, the Deutsche Telekom Technical Service had to lay cable, install connections, set up networks at over a dozen different construction areas. The cables were laid right across the baroque gardens, through the corridors and stairwells in the Palace in some cases. Over five kilometers of new cable had to be laid, without causing any damage wherever possible and hidden from view. The cabling is now being removed after Obama’s visit and summit in Hanover.
Kratzenstein’s colleagues from the Technical Service and Technology were also responsible for providing the telecommunications for the press center in Herrenhausen. Over 400 fixed network and DSL broadband lines were installed to make sure the international journalists in attendance could file reports with press outlets around the globe. A bandwidth of around 1.5 Gigabit/s, which Deutsche Telekom had supplied, ensured a constant flow of news from Hanover.
For Joachim Kratzenstein and his team it’s back to their daily routine once more after the U.S. visit. “It’s always fascinating to keep on top of everything during these kinds of events and to meet our customer’s expectations.” His experience with these kinds of political events now pays dividends. “Most of the various contacts now know us personally, which makes working together much easier.”