You know all the ads that attempt to catch "Swedishness" recently? This one actually has it, when the conductor worries about how it will work in his understated way: "I'll be here at nine... and then we'll see", and the sysadmin (I'm guessing) who calls someone to discuss the problem of having musicians "out in the middle of nowhere" playing together over the mobile network. This unique experiment and a partnership between Telia and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra also shows the variety of Sweden. Sweden is the third-largest country in the EU by area, and since it stretches from noth to south one violinist stands on snow drenched mountains while two others sit on a sunny cliff-beach down south.
Orchestral music operates with margins of hundredths of a second. The transmission of sound is absolutely crucial, even the slightest delay would get them out of sync. But this was only one of the challenges, for it to be an enjoyable concert the sound had to be high quality and they needed instant HD quality images as well.
Everyone who has ever worked from home or a remote area knows the pain of slow connections hampering your ability to do work - “Digitisation is key to the strength of Swedish companies in the face of competition. This is why we are investing billions in the expansion of both fixed and mobile networks – primarily 4G and fibre – all over the country over a number of years,” says Malin Frenning, CEO of Telia in Sweden.
The members of the orchestra were then sent to five different places in Sweden: Åreskutan in Jämtland, Slottsskogen in Skåne and Smögen in Bohuslän were a few of them. Everyone involved was aware that everything had to work perfectly to produce a good enough result for a classical concert.
“The musicians had to be able to hear the sound with absolutely no delay – easier said than done when they are more than 600 kilometres apart. And the quality of the audio and visuals had to be high enough to present the audience at Gothenburg Concert Hall with a realistic musical experience. These were two major challenges, and Telia did an absolutely fantastic job,” said a very pleased Jörgen Odh of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.