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Issue of July 2006 

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A football convergence story

FIFA World Cup 2006 relies on VPNs to deliver converged communication and wireless data transfer solutions that offer almost real-time event information for spectators as well as organisers. This year Avaya has taken on the responsibility to connect 12 stadiums across Germany with thousands of on-the-move users.

A team of Australians, including the Australian Labs team, initially rolled out the idea and worked out the initial project plans. They created flexible connectivity through VPN with high-speed encryption at a comparatively lower cost than a traditional leased line network. IP phones are also in place at temporary offices and information booths across airports.

The entire deployment supports reporters and photographers who need to transmit their stories and photographs wirelessly from any point within the stadium. An estimated 10 million online fans from across the globe will be able to keep themselves updated on the events and get play-by play statistics in almost real-time.

The initial challenges were to connect all possible locations in Germany and the mobile end-user at stadiums, hotels, ticketing booths, local organising committees and temporary FIFA headquarters.

The converged network deployment will carry 80 percent of the voice calls made at the event. This includes the calls made by 5,000 FIFA and local organising committee members and approximately 30,000 volunteers.

Telephone conversations are encrypted and the transmission is expected to be 99.99 percent error-free. The network is said to be fully inter-operable and open-standards based. During the event’s 31 days, the converged network solution would carry about 15 terabytes of voice and data traffic. The deployment is maintained and monitored 24x7.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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