Contact centre and communications vendor Avaya is racing to follow up its 2002 FIFA World Cup implementation with a similar project for this year's FIFA Women's World Cup.
The global soccer tournament was initially slated for China, but was relocated in the United States due to fears about Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) earlier this year, the company said.
Michael Kelly, head of IT at FIFA, said Avaya helped deliver the 2002 FIFA World Cup IT network in “record time”. FIFA issued the new venues' network requirements to Avaya on 13 July, with kickoff scheduled for 20 September.
“Now we've asked them to do the impossible again,” Kelly said. “After two years of careful planning for an event in China, we've asked them to change directions and -- in a matter of weeks -- develop new and complex networks that can handle an event of this size.”
Avaya Global Services has six weeks left to complete the project, which involves networking and managed services for six stadia in California, Oregon, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. FIFA Women's World Cup 2003 involves teams from 16 countries, 32 matches, hundreds of thousands of attendees, and “millions” of broadcast viewers around the globe, Avaya said.
Doug Gardner, managing director of Avaya's World Cup technical program, said “hundreds” of news media were expected to attend.
“Few of the stadiums currently have the network capacity to handle a World Cup press delegation,” Gardner said.
Avaya -– which is also an official sponsor of the event -– said its systems will transmit real-time match data and statistics directly from the field to the tournament's international broadcast centre in New York and the official Website.
The vendor must also implement systems to manage accreditation and security for thousands of players, journalists, staff members and volunteers, linked to US immigration and FIFA's accreditation database in Switzerland, it stated.
Avaya systems will also help FIFA track event staff schedules and manage transportation logistics, and manage the networks during the tournament, according to the company.
The networks at each site will include Avaya network switches and data products, wireless LANs, IP telephony systems, virtual private networks, security gateways and network management technologies and existing equipment from other vendors, Avaya said.
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