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Avaya prepares to build on World Cup triumph

The success of the IP-based network built by Avaya for the Fifa World Cup is tempting other major sports organisations down the...

The success of the IP-based network built by Avaya for the Fifa World Cup is tempting other major sports organisations down the same route, including the International Olympic Committee.

Avaya built the World Cup on behalf of Fifa, which wanted to save money on voice and data traffic going over a single converged network. Fifa estimated it saved more than $200,000 on its tournament phone bill as a result of implementing voice over IP technology (VoIP).

Fifa said it plans to use the technology at its Swiss headquarters. The World Cup network hardware will be redeployed at the 2003 Women's World Cup in China. Gerard Gouillou, Fifa's head of IT, said, "I am convinced that converged communications networks and wireless technologies are the way forward for future FIFA World Cup tournaments.

"While cost savings are an obvious benefit, a single network helped us to communicate seamlessly with a multitude of users in an efficient, reliable and consistent manner."

Doug Gardner of Avaya, managing director of the World Cup project, said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was now considering going down the same path as Fifa, with the 2004 Games in Athens and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin now on the drawing board at Avaya.

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