Vodafone Qatar announces 'smart stadium' plans
Vodafone Qatar has announced it will be working with Vodafone Turkey and football club Beşiktaş JK to develop smart stadium technology in football grounds across Qatar.
The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) designed to speed up the transfer of knowledge and skills from Turkey’s first smart stadium – the Vodafone Arena in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul.
At every home game played by Turkish Super League side, Beşiktaş JK, more than 40,000 fans have access to Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, and 4.5G ready broadband network connections, rich-content displays on the 850 video walls, and Vodafone Arena mobile application, as well as interactive HD screens that broadcast interviews, match statistics and live updates on other games. Visitors on match days are offered an end-to end digital experience.
Mohamed Al-Sadah, Chief Operating Officer at Vodafone Qatar said: “We are delighted to partner with our sister company Vodafone Turkey to bring its extensive expertise and experience in deploying smart stadiums to Qatar. Vodafone is committed to bring expertise and innovation to Qatar from all parts of one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and to provide the Country with a world class telecommunications infrastructure that supports the Qatar 2022 World Cup and Qatar National Vision 2030.
“As Qatar’s 2022 World Cup preparations accelerate, so will fans’ expectation for super-fast connectivity. The ability to share videos, pictures and messages with people online will be an important aspect of the fan experience in six and a half years’ time and with more than a million people expected to travel to the Middle East’s first World Cup, the level of connectivity and sharing will be exceptional. Innovative technologies enabling fans to stay connected during the tournament will form a large part of delivering an unforgettable experience for those inside the 2022 venues,” continued Al Sadah.
Mahmud Awad, Chief Business Officer at Vodafone Qatar added: “Vodafone’s leading IoT Platform that is available in 40 markets was launched in Qatar two months ago as part of our strategic direction to bring all that’s innovative to the Country. Vodafone has over 20 years of Machine to Machine experience and has been rated the best M2M communications service provider in the world. Vodafone M2M technology has already been used for large sporting events in London during the Olympics and in Spain during football matches and we now look forward to working with Vodafone Turkey on bringing their knowledge and expertise around smart stadium solutions to Qatar.”
Read the May 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”