Smooth connectivity for journalists and staff

Network deployment, monitoring and management at eurobasket 2013

The 2013 European Basketball Championship (EuroBasket 2013) took place in September 2013 in Slovenia. One of Europe’s biggest sporting events of the year, it was also the largest sporting event in the history of Slovenia, with 24 teams playing in 90 matches. Next to the teams, also more than 1000 journalists and staff attended the event. Normacom Plus was reponsible for the whole IT infrastructure and due to capacity and complexity, they invited local companies to support them in this project.

NIL was responsible for design, deployment of wired and wireless networks, and they also monitored and managed the whole network infrastructure during the tournament. With the help of Cisco local office, NIL also provided the neccesary technical equipment.

“NIL convinced us with technical expertise, references and flexibility in providing the technical equipment. We managed to completely fulfill FIBA Europe’s technical requirement, while at the same time stay within budgeted limits.”
Aleš Križnar, Director, Eurobasket 2013 Organisation Board

Efficient, reliable, secure and redundant network

TV signal from the championship was broadcasted to 167 countries and more than 1000 journalists attended the event. Sufficient internet connectivity was crucial for their work.

International basketball organisation FIBA Europe and organisation board set precise technical requirements for the network infrastructure. On the basis of that, NIL prepared the network design that enabled smooth and secure internet access for staff and journalists in all five venues.

In the 4 smaller arenas, NIL’s team installed 300 to 400 LAN ports and up to 15 wireless access points for complete wireless signal coverage of the venue. In the largest hall Stožice in Ljubljana, where the playoff was played, the capacities were significantly increased: 1500 LAN ports and 33 wireless access points were enough to provide access for 800 simultaneous users – or in total for up to 2300 devices.

According to the strict requirements of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), NIL also had to ensure network redundancy. This was provided with duplicate equipment – a central server for network management, Cisco ASA CX firewalls and central Cisco switches.

No problems with the network or connectivity

Next to network planning and deployment, NIL was also responsible for the infrastructure management and monitoring. The main tool for that was their NIL Monitor solution, that enabled NIL to proactively monitor the infrastructure performance and to identify issues before they escalate into problems that would hinder the work to journalists and staff.

Additionally, NIL’s engineering team was also present at the location so it could react immedially in case of network problems. Due to good network design and deployment, their intervention was not needed and they could just enjoy watching every game.

“NIL has played its role on the tournament in an excellent way, thus we did not have any connectivity problems. Although this is, to the general public, the invisible aspect of the championship, it is on the other hand crucial for the work of journalists and staff. At the end, this also significantly contributed to the final positive impression about the tournament and Slovenia.”

Rony Plevnik, Head of Informatics, Eurobasket 2013 Organisation Board

Smooth collaboration is the basis of success

EuroBasket 2013 was a technically demanding project for NIL. However the challenge was also demanding regarding coordination among NIL’s and Normacom Plus’ technical teams. Their excellent collaboration during the whole tournament made this task significantly easier as one would expect and this was also a key to successful finalization of the event. Proof? No network downtime through the entire tournament and at all the venues.