Avaya "Kicks off" World Cup

10 Jun 2002
At the International Media Center in Seoul, journalists can write and send their report together with pictures to home office in mere seconds via laptop equipped with wireless PC card. In this year's FIFA World Cup, Avaya allows journalists to access the Internet via wireless LAN for the first time. As the only convergence communication provider, In addition to providing Avaya™ Wireless LAN for each of the stadiums, many of the 12,000 media representatives writing stories and features from the two large International Media Centers will be able to access the Internet by equipping their laptop PC with an 802.11b Avaya Wireless LAN card. This will enable them to easily send emails, and file stories and graphics, as well as download data while roaming the facilities. The network that Avaya has built is one of the largest ever converged voice and data networks in the world, in which wireless LAN is only a core element, Avaya will operate, manage and maintain the network in full sail. 
The communication network of the World Cup marks the first use of VoIP in FIFA event. This is also the first time any network systems supporting a FIFA World Cup event has had to cross seas and provide network support in two countries. It is a great challenge to Avaya. There are two sets of communication systems installed in Seoul and Yokohama respectively, each working as back up to the other to ensure maximum uptime. To support the operation of the network, Avaya dispatches almost all its technicians in Japan and South Korea, with enforcement from U.S. and China. Avaya employees are also deployed in the media centers to teach journalists usage of Avaya communication devices and adjust audio conferencing system. Besides challenge, the event also means opportunities and a benchmark case. 
After six months of contact, Avaya was chosen by FIFA as the only communication network provider for 2002 FIFA World Cup. The cooperation achieves the first ever "networked" World Cup. With first-class technical team and support from local partners and IT technicians of FIFA, Avaya accomplished deployment of the communication infrastructure in limited period of time. Avaya connected and tested the media center in Seoul in a month and turned it into a highly networked international media center. 
For Avaya, the cooperation with FIFA is not only a technical project but also a branding campaign, which will leverage the world's most watched sports games to raise the company's visibility. Since the very first day of Avaya's partnership with FIFA, Avaya has launched series of activities to highlight its status as a FIFA partner, such as Avaya Cup Soccer League hosted in Beijing and promotion of its wireless products teaming with KT. However, Avaya's branding initiative meets with a little trouble, as KT sells Avaya's wireless PC card to journalists at a very high price, leveraging its monopoly role in South Korea.