Clear-Com FreeSpeak II system ensures ‘crystal clear communication’ for Germany vs England

The recent Germany vs England match witnessed another successful deployment of Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak II system by Wilhelm & Willhalm – event technology GmbH & Co.KG. The friendly – which resulted in a 1-0 victory for Germany – took place at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, on 22 March.

Wilhelm & Willhalm has a long association with DFB (the German Football Association) and oversees stadium production issues pertaining to the German team whenever it plays in its home country or around Europe. For the recent match in Dortmund, it worked closely with Clear-Com and live events channel partner Audio-Technica to identify the most appropriate placement of antennas, and to ensure complete and seamless communications throughout the venue.

Once again, the deployment was based Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak II communications system. The next generation distributed wireless solution operates in multiple worldwide license-free frequency bands, and is being used by Wilhelm & Willhalm in the 1.9GHz band. Devised to deliver extensive communication in large-scale operations, the system’s ability to maintain strong and continuous wireless connection across an expansive coverage area has made it a popular choice for broadcast, live event, sport production, industrial, military and government applications.

Christian Eberlein is Regional Sales Manager for DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and Poland, and he recalls that Wilhelm & Willhalm “tried out the system for the Germany vs Australia match two years ago, and were extremely impressed by it. They decided they wanted to use FreeSpeak II for every game as it gave them the communications they needed – everywhere they needed it. So they went ahead and invested in a system in late 2015.”

Camera crew challenge

An unexpected obstacles for the set-up of the recent Dortmund match came in the form of the arrival of a team supporting the England team “who had their own set of cameras. They came on-site and it meant that we had to move the antennas [at short notice].”

The venue is not without its inherent challenges – “it has a very specific structure, shape and roof angle” – but the relocation of the antennas was undertaken quickly and easily. Eberlein adds that the Wilhelm & Willhalm team has also been grateful for the antennas’ IP65 rating, which guarantees that a product is ‘dust tight’ and protected against water projected from a nozzle.

The system performed perfectly throughout the match and now Eberlein remarks that Wilhelm & Willhalm is “planning to add 2.4GHz Freespeak II system to its inventory for events and countries where the 1.9GHz band is not viable.”

More imminently, the existing FreeSpeak II system will be deployed by the company for its work on next month’s UEFA Champions League Final. The hotly-anticipated match will take place at the National Stadium of Wales, Cardiff, on 3 June.

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