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BT has provided the network for the Caixa Econômica Federal lotteries to enable reliable play and transparent draws
The CAIXA lottery’s at the heart of everyday life in Brazil, quite literally. Live broadcasts draw big local crowds. And in remote locations, lottery outlets double as bank branches. Sometimes they arrive aboard a truck. Antônio Carlos Barasuol needed not just a giant network to connect everything fast. He wanted people to know it was totally dependable.
Now, BT’s combination of satellite, broadband, and radio technology spans the country, with tough engineering and protection throughout. That means Antônio Carlos and his customers can be sure every transaction speeds safely to its destination always. So everyone wins.
This most complex project was implemented in record time, with the entire installation taking less than one year.”
- Antônio Carlos Barasuol, National Manager of Physical Channels, CAIXA Lotteries
Caixa Econômica Federal.
This video tells how a combination of satellite, broadband and radio technology from BT has enabled CAIXA to deliver a secure and reliable federal lottery infrastructure right across Brazil, with reduced operating costs and better customer service.
With almost 38 million customers in Brazil, Caixa Econômica Federal, known locally as CAIXA, is the biggest public bank in Latin America. Together with offering accessible banking services for the general population, as a state-owned institution CAIXA provides other public services such as urban infrastructure investment and the administration of benefit payments.
CAIXA is also the organisation that administrates and operates the Brazilian federal lotteries, which play a key social role in Brazil. In 2007 CAIXA passed around half of its receipts of over £1.4 billion to the Legal Recipients, to enable investment in priority areas such as security, culture, and education.
In 2004, the Directive Committee of CAIXA approved a new operating model for its lotteries, deciding to centralise the management of all the processes involved.
Antônio Carlos Barasuol, the National Manager of Physical Channels at CAIXA, says: “The aim was to reduce the cost of operating the lotteries to enable more money to be directed to social investment programmes.”
Under the new regime, CAIXA would retain overall control to assure the continued reliability, security, and transparency of lottery results, but operating the lotteries would also involve collaboration with four service suppliers. These would be responsible for lottery terminal leasing and maintenance, production of reels and lottery tickets, storage and distribution of these materials and network connections to the lottery outlets.
CAIXA issued a competitive tender to select suppliers for each of the service contracts. Comsat, the Latin American service provider acquired by BT in 2007, was awarded the five-year £76 million contract to supply the network for transmitting data from the lottery outlets to CAIXA data processing centres, via its Vicom subsidiary.
The network needed to connect more than 25,000 terminals installed in over 9,000 lottery outlets throughout Brazil, some in the most remote locations. A hybrid network was chosen, using satellite communication in addition to broadband connections and radio links. The entire network is connected to two BT teleports in Hortolândia (São Paulo state) and Rio de Janeiro, which then connect to CAIXA data-processing centres in Brasília.
To maximise availability the network is fully redundant, providing alternative routing options in the event of a link failure. This applies even in the furthest places in Brazil, where the lottery outlets are also frequently the only place where banking transactions – such as paying bills, making deposits, and withdrawing cash – can be conducted.
The network complies with stringent security standards that shield it from hacking because all data transmitted through the network is encrypted. Other security matters managed by BT include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, anti-virus arrangements and transaction logging, as well as robust physical security measures.
The scale of the project was huge and quite unique when considered in terms of its size, geographical reach, number of connections, the availability and security of the betting system, and the volume of transactions. As well as implementation, BT responsibilities extend to network design and integration as well as online management and operation of the network.
The telecommunications project was implemented in stages against a tight timeframe. Despite its complexity, it went live in less than 12 months. In a later development lottery outlets began implementing a new system for back-up links to the teleports using GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) to replace dialled connections. For this aspect of the service, BT uses a network provided by an associate wireless telephony carrier.
Draws are conducted daily, Monday to Saturday, and many of these are made from regional locations using mobile units known as Caminhões da Sorte (trucks of fortune). These units travel across Brazil and also contain a lottery outlet, which can register bets in real time. They are continually operated by a licensee in the location the lottery draws are taking place.
The trucks attract large crowds to watch the draws. In a further upgrade of the BT solution, each truck has been equipped with a video recording and broadcast system to enable live transmissions to CAIXA headquarters in Brasília. Mini-cameras are installed in each of the six globes that hold the draw balls, while four larger cameras film all events – from the draw in the truck to the public’s reaction.
BT provided all the equipment required, including the cameras, video streaming encoders, data storage, and satellite transmission equipment, in addition to broadband mobile data connections to the trucks.
Paulo Campos, National Superintendent of CAIXA Lotteries, comments: “The launch of live video transmissions of the national lottery directly from our ballot trucks reinforces security and transparency. It is important to the mission of our mobile ballot unit to enhance the credibility of the federal lotteries.”
More recently the primary contract was extended to include connection of a further 2,100 new lottery outlets, which are subject to tender. This will increase the number of lottery terminals served to a total of around 31,000.
The network provided by BT has helped CAIXA deliver a more reliable betting infrastructure and enables greater transparency. The financial benefits of the new fixed-cost operating model for the lottery were soon realised.
Antônio Carlos Barasuol says: “Within six months of implementing the new system CAIXA was making savings of around 15 per cent of lottery operating expenses. We were also providing better service through greater processing capacity.”
In 2007 the CAIXA lottery system recorded 3.8 billion transactions. The network also plays an important social role, particularly in remote areas. Around one third of the transactions are not related to bets, but rather the simple financial services that can also be conducted at lottery outlets.
Network availability has remained in excess of 99.9 per cent, even on days of substantial volume – such as rollover draws – when the network often operates at a volume of more than one thousand transactions per second. These peaks provide CAIXA with its highest lottery receipts, for example £30 million from over 23 million transactions on one day on January 10, 2007.
Core BT services
- Telecommunications services including ADSL, satellite, GPRS, and pre-standard WiMax radio connectivity services
- Professional services for systems integration