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Avaya Looks To Connect Sochi For 2014 Winter Olympics

December 16, 2013


With the arrival of most every even-numbered year comes an array of points worth watching. Elections in the United States, be said elections for Senate, the House of Representatives, the Presidency or any combination therein, as well as the Olympic Games, be said games either summer or winter variety. 2014 is no different, and the Winter Olympics are set to kick off February 7 in the city of Sochi in Russia. But ahead of this development, some lessons are being taken from the 2012 Olympics, and Avaya is said to be now in the process of finalizing a major new network for Sochi that will, hopefully, be ready for the traffic associated with such an event.

Reports suggest that the Avaya (News - Alert) network, once complete and operational, will be able to handle fully 54 Tbps of traffic and is completely new construction as such technology hasn't yet been put in play around the Sochi area. Naturally, that's not the only change that's going in ahead of the event; Sochi is getting power grid upgrades, sewer system upgrades, and even a shot in the arm for the transportation system, a set of upgrades said to be valued in the billions of dollars. Reports suggest that Avaya has had some presence in Sochi for the last 18 months in a bid to get ready for the games and has proven a strain on several fronts.

But these are changes that likely proved necessary, especially after lessons learned in both the 2012 Olympic Games and the previous Winter Olympics in 2010. In the 2010 games, the network could only handle just four Tbps of traffic; now it will be equipped to handle over 13 times that number. Frohwerk notes that it's expected that users will “ carrying and using multiple wireless devices.” Beyond that, though, Avaya has other demands on the network as well, including fully 30 different IPTV (News - Alert) dedicated HD channels.

In response to this, Avaya has set up a network with a focus not only on heavy throughput, but also on maximum versatility. There will be five virtual networks—one for athletes, one for dignitaries, one for Olympics staff and two for media, with one for free and the other available on a paying basis. A host of password protection options can come into play and a host of features are included in the overall proposition, including voice services and fully 6,500 voicemail boxes provided on the strength of Avaya Aura Communication Manager.

Some might think this overkill, but given the demands placed on the network during the 2012 games, which saw streaming video really get involved for the first time, it's actually well in line. Additionally, other events are reportedly set to hit Sochi in the near future, including Grand Prix races as well as a set of soccer games that will be part of the 2018 World Cup, so having a robust communications system in Sochi is likely to prove well worthwhile.

The ever-present question for something like this, though, is if even a number as substantial as 54 Tbps will actually be enough. Only February and the Winter Games will make that clear, though, as the actual performance of the network will become clear under real-world conditions. There will definitely be plenty of traffic on that network, though, so if it does hold up, it will be quite the coup for Avaya, and further proof of a rapidly-changing media landscape.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker