Avaya designs the largest voice, data network for Fifa WC

MUMBAI: When the ball is kicked tonight at the opening match of the 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany, the largest voice and data network ever -- designed and managed by Avaya goes into full operation.

Over the next 31 days, 15 trillion bytes of information, equal to more than 100 million books will travel through the communications network built by Avaya, a global provider of communications networks and services for businesses.

The converged network, which combines voice and data on the same infrastructure, will be used by teams, referees and journalists, plus Fifa and Organizing Committee officials for a myriad of tasks, including accreditation, reporting results, logistics and transportation.

New technologies will change the way fans, journalists, volunteers, and athletes enjoy and interact with the games and one another, and 12 stadiums, 12 cities, 64 matches, hotels, airports, train stations, and more will be completely connected.

Avaya chairman and CEO Don Peterson says, "Goal lines in sports and bottom lines in business are the same -- it's all about having a winning team. At the Fifa World Cup 2006, Avaya is the team that pulls together every player, match and a huge number of other activities with a world class communications network. Providing highly reliable and secure
communications solutions is what we do for our customers around the world every day. Our team offers skills and powers as strong as Fifa World Cup players, so we can deliver a perfect communications 'match' to any customer here at the games."

With the Avaya network in place:

* Real-time scores will allow fans and the media globally to instantly know who scored a goal and which team won a match. The World Cup has an accumulated audience of 30 billion fans worldwide, but only 3.1 million will be able to watch the games live.

* Photojournalists can transmit digital photos wirelessly, instead of using film and dark rooms, on which journalists had to rely at the Fifa World Cup 2002.

* In the past, an average of two to three phone numbers, including an office and mobile phone number, were listed for each person working during the World Cup and the directory needed to be updated and printed twice daily. Now a new web-based directory can update contact lists instantly.

* Reliability is ensured, with 99.99 per cent availability. Avaya conducted more than 400 tests at its Fifa World Cup lab in Frankfurt. The tests, validated by Netconsult, included exhaustive testing of failover scenarios, backup power, firmware and software compatibility, and the resiliency of many IP applications to ensure the network won't go down or slow down.

* Sophisticated security is in place to prevent viruses and hackers, with software that enables Avaya technical experts to locate the source of the virus or intrusion.

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