Avaya provides converged communication network for Fifa

MUMBAI: With 64 matches over 31 days, mobility will be critical to maximise productivity and efficiency for journalists, Fifa employees and volunteers at the World Cup. Avaya is building a converged communication network that will enable the estimated 15,000 media covering the tournament, to provide the most up-to-date information and images to fans, giving those in attendance and at home the closest to real-time Fifa World Cup experience to date.

It will also give Fifa personnel and volunteers who will be working the event, the mobility they need to make them more productive.

Avaya head of IT for Fifa Mike Kelly said, "With billions of fans watching around the globe and the media using our networks to transmit photos and information instantly -- we cannot compromise on performance. We require our employees to be easily contactable whenever and wherever we need them. Avaya's solutions will help us to redefine how our employees and stakeholders can work around the World Cup."

The media covering the 2006 Fifa World Cup will require up-to-the-minute and accurate information to satisfy the public's need for near-instantaneous information through online portals, broadcast and other media. A series of wireless local area networks (WLAN) in some of the stadiums, will give the press complete mobility within these environments.

Photographers capturing game time action and analysts transmitting match statistics can now use their approved devices such as wireless laptops to reach Avaya Wireless Access Points from anywhere in the stadium -- without having to move from their match position.

Photographer John Sibley of London based Action Images said, "I have specialised in football photography since 1991, and one of the great things about covering Fifa competitions is the way that technology has made me much more efficient. Historically, photographers covering the Fifa World Cup used conventional film cameras. The film then had to be taken to the stadium's media centre, developed, scanned and uploaded -- taking up to 45 minutes. Now, with digital cameras I can transfer images straight to my laptop and transmit them directly over Fifa's network. Now, this can take less than 60 seconds and fans can see photographs in near real time."

In addition, the converged communication network that Avaya is supplying for the Fifa World Cup will incorporate key mobility features such as Extension-to-Cellular that will maximise productivity and efficiency of Fifa employees, volunteers and executives working at the World Cup.

In order to ensure smooth running of the 31 day 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany competition, it is especially critical for members of the Fifa and Avaya staffs to remain in constant contact. In order to reduce the time spent trying to find and contact people, Avaya integrated and installed the Avaya Extension-to-Cellular application which allows individuals to be reached on a single telephone number, wherever they are.

For example, office calls can be automatically routed to any mobile device along with key capabilities like conferencing and transferring. Furthermore, if the call cannot connect it will return to the office voicemail -- meaning it is no longer necessary to have multiple mailboxes.

Fifa personnel will also have a single interface to access their voicemails, emails, directories and more, allowing them to check, store and manage them from any phone or laptop with Avaya's Modular Messaging.

Since becoming a Fifa World Cup partner in 2001, Avaya has worked with Fifa to help bring the excitement of the world's most popular sport to an estimated accumulated global audience of 30 billion fans. Avaya has already provided converged communication networks for the 2002 Fifa World Cup, 2003 Women's World Cup and the Fifa Confederations Cup 2005.

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