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Interview: Resilient networks ensured smooth games

T.C. Seow | Aug. 1, 2014
How the SEA Games in Myanmar last year was conducted successfully with the deployment of tested solutions for games management and scoreboarding.

The 27th Southeast Asia Games, held in Myanmar's capital city of Naypyidaw in December last year, was not just a display of athletic prowess from contestants from Southeast Asia but also a testimony of some of the latest technological solutions for smooth operations and control. In an exclusive email interview, we talk to Allen Miu, CTO of the Frontiir Group, to find out more about the Game's sport management solution.

Q: What were the key requirements to support the SEA games in Myanmar last December? Were these requirements necessary to support legacy hardware and software, or were they completely new specifications that allowed Frontiir to build from a "clean slate", so to speak?

Allen Miu: The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is the oldest regional sporting event in Asia, and has been held every two years since 1959. The 27th edition of the SEA Games was held in four cities across Myanmar in December 2013. Frontiir was chosen to be the official ICT partner of the Games in Myanmar. The company was founded by a group of senior IT executives from around the world, and has grown to become a reputed solutions provider in Myanmar, as a result of having worked on various high profile and successful projects.

The two most important requirements were network reliability and the ability to implement quickly. The 27th SEA Games was an important event for Myanmar, as it was an opportunity for the country to show the world Myanmar's capabilities. It was also part of a big step towards the country playing a more active role in Southeast Asia.

The SEA Games Verification and Information System (SVIS) was developed on Frontiir's ERP platform, using Open ERP. This system verifies the identity of all athletes and delegates entering the country and event venues.  Frontiir developed the system based on specifications set by the Ministry of Sports.  

The Game Management system provided competition-related information such as scheduling, transportation and real-time scoring updates. This system was developed based on specifications from China, where a similar Game Management System was successfully deployed for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. 

These two systems ran on a private network, which spanned four cities, multiple data centres, more than 36 stations, and 24 venues. The SEA Games was holding 460 sporting events across 37 sports categories.  With hundreds of events across a variety of sports, the network needed to remain reliable while at the same time adapt to station and location changes carried out by venue organisers to optimise its logistics/security procedures onsite. 

We also needed to consider the challenge of potential interference from sources such as high-power radio requirement from TV crews, cellular base stations, patrol and emergency vehicles and huge volumes of people carrying Wi-Fi devices. All these created a challenging environment for reliable connectivity. Any system downtime was unacceptable, as it would adversely affect the game scoring system as well as the entry and exit at key security checkpoints.

 

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