World Cup Puts Converged Networking to the Test

29 Apr 2002
Soccer's World Cup tournament stands out as perhaps the ultimate contest of national pride, but this year's quadrennial event will also serve as a key proof-of-concept vehicle for converged voice and data networking technology. 
With 120,000 data and voice over IP telephone connections in 22 locations throughout Japan and South Korea, the World Cup's network will be the largest converged installation to date, according to several industry analysts. And the stakes are immensely high, because media from around the world will be completely reliant on the network when covering the games, which start May 31 and end June 30. 
Gerard Gouillou, CIO at the Zurich-based Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), said this has been the most difficult IT project ever for soccer's governing body. But his team began running usage simulations on the network last week, and Gouillou likes what he's seen so far. 
"The full deployment will not occur until 16 days prior to the event. … But based on our testing, we do not anticipate any issues," he said.