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Editors' Notebook
August 2002

Greg Galitzine

Goooooal! Avaya Scores Big With World Cup Network


The final has been set. 32 teams have played 62 games on the road to arguably the most sought after trophy in the world of sports. Only two games remain: The third-place match between tournament surprises Korea and Turkey, and the eagerly awaited final clash between soccer giants Germany and Brazil. The 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan has provided its fill of excitement and heartbreak as world soccer powers France, Italy, Portugal, and Argentina were cast out of the contest at the hands of young upstarts such as Korea, Turkey, and Senegal.

And throughout the tournament, Avaya (www.avaya.com) has provided the converged voice/data network, which has handled the needs of stadium operators, team and tournament officials, players, the mass of global sports media, and more. And according to Avaya spokespeople, the network has performed at peak efficiency. The company said the FIFA World Cup network carried nearly four terabytes of data between May 31 and June 14. At its current level of operation, by the end of the games the network is expected to ultimately carry 10 terabytes of data or 10 trillion bytes, which is equivalent to six years and seven months of continuous MP3 download-and-play music.

For the first time at a FIFA World Cup event, end users are able to place phone calls using IP telephony. This technology enables FIFA to establish its voice communications on the same network as its data operations. The network is carrying nearly 100,000 IP phone calls a day. The VoIP capabilities are part of a larger IP over ATM network linking each of the 20 stadiums, the two international media centers, and each of the national (one in Korea/one in Japan) headquarters. Avaya has deployed 25 Avaya IP communications servers with more than 7,000 voice endpoints throughout the FIFA network. The products are part of Avayas Enterprise Class Internet Protocol Solutions (ECLIPS) product line.

According to Doug Gardner, Avayas managing director for the FIFA World Cup program, Avayas IP solution for FIFA has proved up to the challenge. Like any big business, communications is at the heart of FIFAs operations, Gardner said. From managing team logistics and accrediting reporters to confirming accommodations and reporting match results, there simply is no room for compromise or error. Weve delivered an IP telephony solution that is saving FIFA money without compromising on features, reliability, or scalability of the network.

Another popular application at this years event is Wireless LAN access. Hundreds of executives and staff are connecting to e-mail and the Internet using Avaya Wireless LAN cards. Additionally, journalists using the technology are able to connect to the FIFA World Cup network without being tethered to a workstation or wired phone at a stadium or the International Media Center. Instead, they can move freely and easily to various locations within the media center and the stadiums, staying constantly in touch with editors and continuously able to transmit stories and photography from anywhere at any time.

In addition to managing the networking needs for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, Avaya has signed on as a sponsor of the 2003 FIFA Womens World Cup hosted by the Peoples Republic of China, and the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

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