Avaya today announced it will provide the communications network to support next-generation media coverage of the first Test of the 2015 Investec Ashes series to be staged at Glamorgan County Cricket Club’s SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, from 8th – 12th July.
The Avaya Fabric Connect network will provision 120 journalists from around the world with robust Wi-Fi in the broadcast and media centre, as well as providing pitch-side access for live correspondents and photographers. Set to attract capacity crowds and a global television audience of millions, a solid communications infrastructure is critical to connecting fans with what is perhaps the most anticipated event in the cricketing calendar.
Dramatic changes in the media landscape including the growth of video journalism, live video streaming and second screening, demand a network capable of handling huge amounts of data traffic. Robustness is essential, especially during key moments where reporting activity peaks, and social media goes into overdrive. Responding to these new media requirements, Glamorgan selected the Avaya Fabric Network because of its proven resiliency, agility, and ease of deployment and maintenance.
The Avaya Fabric Network was deployed in just 5 days including a full migration from Glamorgan’s existing set-up without any service interruptions. For the Investec Ashes Test, the network will initially be sub-divided into five user groups with apportioned, ring-fenced bandwidth to safeguard access for critical journalists. Glamorgan will provision a quarter of the bandwidth for the use of the written media with journalists from every major newspaper and media outlet in Britain and Australia committed to attend, as well as segments for photographers, non-rights holding broadcast journalists, Glamorgan staff, and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) staff. For future sporting events and conferences, the network can be easily reconfigured to support different user requirements within hours making it a more attractive venue for conferencing and events.
Glamorgan’s ultimate goal is to deliver a 21st century fan experience by becoming the most technically advanced cricket stadium in the world. After The Investec Ashes Test, the club will continue to work with Avaya to roll out access to the Wi-Fi network to guests and spectators. Glamorgan hopes to set the precedent for other cricket venues to provide a more engaging fan experience.
The Club will also stage a NatWest Twenty20 International between England and Australia in August and has won the right to stage matches in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
“In my playing days, you’d typically have a press box of writers filing their copy over the telephone or even by fax machine. Today sports fans expect immediate coverage of events, regardless of where they are in the world, and increasingly technology-savvy and digitally-minded viewers demand an engaging and interactive experience. Test match coverage has evolved to include extensive previews and detailed analysis and the role of the sports writer has evolved significantly with an expectation to provide rolling coverage in and around every development in every international contest. There’s incredible pressure to ensure the network can withstand large amounts of data passing through it over a long period of time. Our media need to know they can count on the network running seamlessly from the very first Tweet of the day, until the last story is filed.”
Hugh Morris, CEO, Glamorgan Cricket Club
“Avaya works with some of the most advanced and highest profile sporting venues in the world, including the Sochi Winter Olympics last year. I’m confident our technology will deliver not only on Glamorgan’s expectations for this year’s Ashes, but on those of the media and fans around the world. Looking to the future, we’re excited to be part of Glamorgan’s ambition to reinvent the spectator experience in cricket. With the sheer amount of time fans spend in the stadium, there’s huge potential to make more of the fan experience through custom apps, e-commerce, marketing initiatives and promotions, and to boost the value proposition.”
Garry Veale, president of Avaya Europe