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Countdown to the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003:


Avaya did it. In only weeks the company designed and fielded the networks required to support the opening games of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Women's World Cup 2003 - set to begin on September 20.

Avaya did it. In only weeks the company designed and fielded the networks required to support the opening games of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Women's World Cup 2003  set to begin on September 20.

The short deadline was driven by the SARS outbreak, which led FIFA to move the massive event from China to the U.S. Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), a sponsor and the Official Convergence Communication Provider for the tournament, rose to the challenge.

"The Avaya team accomplished what seemed to be impossible," said Michael Kelly, head of FIFA IT Solution. "In a matter of weeks they sized up stadiums and our tournament headquarters and fielded the complex networks that are so crucial for an event this size."

Avaya Global Services handled the heavy lifting for the project, responding to requirements that continued to evolve even after the project was underway. On a highly impacted schedule they surveyed and evaluated tournament sites across the U.S., developed network designs, oversaw staging and testing at the Avaya Network Operations Center in St. Petersburg, Fla. and managed teams of Avaya installers who led the successful field installation.

As a result, new networks are now in place at: the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.; Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio; Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Penn.; RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.; and FIFA's Women's World Cup headquarters in Long Beach, Calif. One remaining network for PGE Park in Portland, Ore., will be completed by week's end, well in advance of the first match at that facility, which is scheduled for September 28.

According to Doug Gardner, Avaya's managing director for the FIFA World Cup technical program, each of the seven sites presented its own unique demands.

"This definitely wasn't a 'cookie cutter' implementation," Gardner said. "At each venue, the existing infrastructure varied widely in age, functionality, capacity and interoperability. So each design and installation was a custom job."

Gardner said that at older stadiums like RFK Stadium and PGE Park, Avaya engineers knew they would need new turnkey solutions to support FIFA's requirements. Even at newer stadiums like Columbus Crew and Home Depot Center, though, engineers found there was insufficient capacity to support FIFA and the global press delegation that follows the tournament. And none of the sites had the wireless connectivity required by journalists and photographers on the pitch.

The project incorporates Avaya converged, voice and data communications including wireless LANs, virtual private networks, security gateways and network management technologies, as well as a variety of existing equipment from other vendors.

FIFA is already putting the new networks through their paces. Accreditation teams at each venue are connecting to government security and immigration systems and to FIFA databases in Switzerland to verify identities and issue credentials to the thousands of players, journalists, staff members and volunteers supporting the event. Avaya networks are supporting FIFA and the Local Operating Committee as they schedule volunteers and plan the complex transportation logistics for teams and coaches.

Above all, systems are now in place to keep fans informed. High-speed connectivity will allow the hundreds of journalists who follow the event to file stories and photos in real time from the press box or the pitch. In addition, each stadium now will be able to transmit real-time results and game statistics directly from the field to an International Broadcast Center in New York, giving TV commentators data and graphics on each match. The same real-time data will feed, the official Web site for the tournament, allowing fans to follow each game via PC or handheld device.

Avaya Global Services is staffing the tournament with onsite engineers and has begun to remotely monitor and manage key systems around-the-clock from its Avaya Network Operations Center.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications  and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services  Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site:

Avaya Global Services
Avaya Global Services includes more than 7,000 consultants and professionals and 23 network operations and 13 technical centers worldwide. The Avaya Services team can assess, plan, design, manage and maintain converged voice and data networks, including multivendor local area and wide area networks. For more information about all offerings from Avaya Global Services, please visit:

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