Communication services for short term sporting events are always a challenge; the 2009 UK Golf Open was no exception. The Open Championship is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf. It is the only major held outside the USA and is administered by The R&A (Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews).In 2009, the tournament was held at Turnberry in Ayrshire, Scotland. Communication services for the previous events were mostly provided by BT over traditional networks. The process of service installation was time consuming due to the inflexibility of the PSTN. This year was different with the installation of SIP trunks to carry 100% of both inbound and outbound call traffic.
Suppliers were asked to provide telecommunications services over SIP trunks for the duration of the event to exhibitors, journalists, guests and competitors.
Phase one was to provide suitable IP connectivity, sufficient in size to cope with the demand in bandwidth not just for voice traffic, but also for data as there was to be live IP broadcasts to the USA.
The connectivity was provided by BT Net, installing a 34Mb host link to site. Envision deployed a Cisco Call Manager on site with over 394 Cisco IP handsets for the various parties. Specialist UK sip trunk provider – Voip Unlimited, provided 600 geographic VoIP DDIs with a local Turnberry area code. These DDIs were issued to the various exhibitors and vendors two weeks prior to the event starting so they could publish their supporting literature in time.
Mark Pillow, Voip Unlimited’s MD said, “We could deliver the 600 geographic DDIs pretty much instantaneously using our SIP Trunk automated provisioning system. This significantly reduced the engineering planning that would have been needed with BT on PSTN networks with multiple ISDN 30 circuits.”
The way that the traditional networks were deployed in previous years events meant that calls between DDIs were chargeable. By deploying IP across the site, inter-event calls were totally free of call charges, saving the R&A significant call costs and removing the headache of onward charging of call costs to their exhibitors.
“Call quality was excellent, delivering service to the hundreds of users on site.”
Jason Hall from main communications contractor Envision Media commented,
“Deploying communications for previous events had not been easy for a number of years. BT had disbanded their special events department, meaning there was no communications between BT Retail, Wholesale and Openreach. There were billing issues and engineers turned up randomly to install services required weeks, sometimes months before. By deploying SIP trunks we had no issues in managing the engineering element of the solution.”
“Call quality was excellent, delivering service to the hundreds of users on site.” Good call quality was vital to the whole solution. VoIP Unlimited utilised its relationships with Tier 1 carriers offering quality Gold routes for call transit to hundreds of international destinations. This gave the R&A confidence that the technology would sustain reliable communications.
Speed of deployment – the 600 geographic local DDIs were deployed and set up and live within seconds using Voip Unlimited’s automated provisioning system
Cost savings – free calls provided across the site between IP handsets
Single point of reference for all communications services, with very little involvement with BT
Ability to provide local geographic DDIs for the events
Flexible call capacity using IP Bandwidth as opposed to fixed, expensive ISDN channels
56000 metres (176 drums) of CAT5 cable was used for the event
200 1Gb switches were deployed over a 10Gb fibre backbone
700 press representatives were on site for the duration of the event