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BT Germany supported the BMW International Open in Munich with a Cisco-based ICT infrastructure and high-speed global network links
World-class action, right up close. Every summer, 60,000 fans flock to the BMW International Open at the Munich Eichenried golf club. While the professionals conjured up magic on the golf course, people from BT Germany – along with its subsidiary Stemmer, and Cisco Systems – performed similar feats working silently in the background.
BT and Cisco, as official IT and telecommunications partners, supported the event’s entire ICT infrastructure. Organisers, suppliers, spectators and journalists all benefited from technological precision of the highest calibre, as well as leading-edge services such as worldwide high-definition videoconferencing.
During the three-day tournament, the BMW International Open benefited from end-to-end connectivity for high-speed internet and telephony, secure in every respect, using modern IP-based technology.”
- Christian Dietl, Head of Products, BT Germany
The BMW International Open is the largest professional golf tournament in Germany. It attracts stars of international standing and the ICT infrastructure has to operate reliably throughout this major sporting event, come rain or shine.
The organiser depends on e-mail, telephone, and instant messaging communication across the entire Munich Eichenried golf club (where the BMW International Open usually takes place). The spectators, too, demand stable telephone connections and speedy internet access to post fairway commentaries and pictures on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, or to check business e-mails during breaks. High-availability, high-bandwidth connections are also crucial for international journalists reporting from the tournament.
Although easy from a technical point of view, providing coverage for the whole area using a radio network would have been prohibitively expensive. The trick was to find a happy medium between technical and economic requirements, while responding flexibly and often at short notice to the organiser’s requests. At the same time, data security was critical. The network would need to be protected against intrusion in the same way that the technical components were protected against theft or the weather.
Working with its subsidiary company, Stemmer, over 35 Cisco wireless access points were deployed by BT Germany to provide an event-wide broadband Wi-Fi network. Using experience of previous such events, and through intensive discussions with the organisers, the BT Stemmer team was able to precisely plan the typical movement patterns of players and spectators in advance, and tailor the wireless network coverage to suit. For example, as the spectators moved from hole to hole during a round, the network adapted itself.
BT Germany established a 34Mbps broadband microwave link between the golf course and a BT radio mast in Munich to interconnect the event with its global network. The necessary hardware was installed in a portable cabin on the edge of the golf course, which also acted as a temporary network operations centre. From there, during the course of the three-day tournament, BT managed the solution around the clock including internet access, IP telephony, wireless access, and connection technology.
Over the course of the entire infrastructure installation, the BT Stemmer team laid over 4,000 metres of Ethernet cabling and 1,000 metres of fibre-optic cabling. Twelve Cisco Catalyst 3500 Series Switches were installed and configured to create a hierarchical 350-port network, with built-in redundancy, providing internal bandwidths of over 50Mbps.
At all times during the three-day tournament, organisers, guests and journalists at the BMW International Open golf tournament had secure and resilient end-to-end access to high-speed internet and telephone communications. Business people and journalists were able to make use of a BT videoconferencing room located on the golf course. This meant that meetings and interviews could be conducted across the globe, with BT and Cisco providing more than 30 videoconferencing rooms free of charge in major cities such as London, New York and Frankfurt. Post-event, these continue to be available for use by guests or interested users via an online booking portal.
Of particular importance to the organisers was the fact that the wireless network on the golf course took the varying visitor movements into account, which kept costs down by optimising usage. Significant savings in call charges were also made as the wireless network provided access to IP telephony, rather than people dialling over the public network.
Kai Lorenz, Head of Marketing and Products at BT Germany, concludes: “The service provided by the BT Germany premium onsite team ensured that the service operated failure-free throughout the event, while careful planning ensured that weather-related difficulties caused no damage to the hardware. Additional requirements such as short-notice requests by players for overseas connections were fulfilled quickly and flexibly.”
- Installation and operation of ICT infrastructure including:
- 24/7 service management
- Microwave access to the BT global network for MPLS-based wide area network services and high-speed internet access
- Event-wide wireless network designed to follow the flow of players and spectators around the course
- Fixed and wireless IP Telephony voice services and Ethernet-based local area network services
- Audio, web and videoconferencing – with complementary videoconferencing end points in 30 cities worldwide
- Temporary accommodation housing telecommunications equipment and an around-the-clock network operations centre