Live from Barcelona: NTT Communications talks high speed networking with McLaren

NTT Communications is showcasing its software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology for Formula 1 partner , McLaren, here at Mobile World Congress this week. Race car driver for the team, Fernando Alonso, visited the show to highlight the work NTT is doing with McLaren, which is testing the tech at the Barcelona track today.

The company has been partnering with McLaren-Honda for the past two years on advancing comms tech for the racing team, both for live analysis for track side in real time and as part of McLaren-Honda’s overall vehicle development strategy.

NTT Communications’ software-defined-everything (SDx) technologies were incorporated for the first time in a track-side network connecting the Suzuka Circuit in Japan and the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK during the 2017 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix.

McLaren-Honda carried out a series of tests during the Japanese Grand Prix to strengthen its remote management of race strategy using telemetry data provided at extra high speed. NTT Communications’ secure ICT infrastructure controls network bandwidth flexibly and efficiently in testing the speed and quality of the SD-WAN’s greatly increased bandwidth. Data was also transmitted between Japan and the UK via an existing MPLS circuit.

This year the technology will be used over 21 races globally with the team, said Ryu Kanishimam, senior manager for technology development at NTT Communications, who added: “Our work with F1 is an R&D experiment. McLaren isn’t just about the racing side, it’s about innovative technologies as well. Around 100GB of data are sent from the 300 sensors in the car over the NTT network for analysis during each race.” 

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