Melbourne Cricket Ground - Record phone use at AFL Grand Final
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Record phone use at AFL Grand Final

Oct 01, 2012

Telstra communications technician, Alberto Vasquez, adding network capacity around the Melbourne Cricket Ground. TELSTRA MEDIA RELEASE

Footy fans who attended Saturday’s AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) have set a record for phone use at an AFL final.

Results show Telstra customers at the ground made more than twice as many calls and used three-and-a-half times more data than last year’s Grand Final.

Assisted by a major upgrade to Telstra’s Next G® network inside the MCG, Telstra customers at the game made more than 193,000 calls between midday and 7.00pm, up from 83,000 calls at last year’s Grand Final.

Throughout the course of the big match there were 2.4 million data requests made inside the MCG, with approximately 185 gigabytes of internet traffic being transferred – up from approximately 53 gigabytes last year.

Max Jennings, Telstra’s Director of Wireless Network Engineering, said the company’s investment in additional mobile capacity within the stadium is helping cater for spectators’ growing demand to use smartphone technology at major sporting events.

“We have witnessed a huge change during recent years in the ways sport fans use their phones at big matches,” Mr Jennings said.

“These days it’s not simply to make calls or text messages, but for uploading photo and video content to social media sites. The 185 gigabytes of internet traffic Telstra customers used at the Grand Final is the equivalent of 40 DVDs or 45,000 mp3 music files.”

Mr Jennings said the capacity upgrades at the MCG are permanent and will benefit fans at other major events in the future.

“Over the past 15 months we have undertaken a range of projects to more than double wireless network capacity at the MCG. The increased capacity was reflected in the amount of traffic we saw on the Telstra network throughout the Grand Final,” he said.

“As well as increasing the 3G capacity we have added dedicated 4G infrastructure, and we saw about five to ten per cent of traffic at the game being carried on the 4G network with the benefits that brings. That our customers were able to use as much data as they did was due to the upgrades we made.”

The busiest time for voice traffic during the day was after the final siren between 5.45pm and 6.00pm.

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