Media Release, 24 September 2019

Telstra, Ericsson and the MCC install 5G at the ‘G  

Monday 24 September 2019: Ahead of the biggest AFL game of the season, Telstra, in partnership with the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and Ericsson, is installing 5G into the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). 

Come Saturday’s AFL Grand Final, customers on Telstra 5G at the game can expect an enhanced network experience with faster browsing and downloads.

The project is part of a wider initiative that started in 2015 when Telstra partnered with the MCC to bolster capacity at the MCG with an innovative 3G/4G solution. 

This network has performed strongly over the last four years and now, Telstra, in partnership with Ericsson and the MCC, is starting to add 5G coverage for better fan experience.

Nikos Katinakis, Telstra’s Group Executive, Networks & IT said “Telstra’s 5G network will give our customers the best experience at Australia’s best stadium. 

“On match day last year we saw a massive 3.8 terabytes of data sent over Telstra’s mobile network at the MCG which is equivalent to 1,200 hours of HD video content. We’ll see this lift again next weekend with more data and more capability at the ‘G.

“There are also benefits for customers using 4G, as the underlying network is also enhanced by the installation of the latest technologies,” Mr Katinakis said.

While from Saturday there will be immediate benefit for MCG patrons on the Telstra network, this installation is just the first stage.

Telstra and Ericsson engineers will be testing and refining 4G and 5G coverage weekly to evaluate the engineering deployment design and optimise future deployment solutions - all to provide the best possible network experience for people enjoying events at the MCG.

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand says “Telstra customers with 5G handsets will be amongst the first around the world to experience 5G connectivity in a major stadium – and in time for one of Australia’s leading sporting events, the AFL Grand Final.”

“Following soon after the launch of 5G commercially in Australia, this collaboration with Telstra and the MCC is another example of industry working together to drive 5G advancement and respond to growing demand for increased data and enhanced experiences, ensuring Australia remains at the forefront of telecommunications technology,” Mr Romeo said.

Melbourne Cricket Club Chief Executive Stuart Fox says “we’re pleased to be the first stadium in Australia to provide patrons with access to the 5G network thanks to Telstra and Ericsson.”

“Fans expect to step into greatness when visiting the ‘G and this is another way we are enhancing Grand Final Day experiences.

“Ahead of hosting matches and the Finals of the ICC T20 Women’s and Men’s World Cups next year, the 5G at the ‘G technology puts us into an elite category to cater to international broadcasters, media and fans,” Mr Fox said.

Telstra has rolled out 5G in 10 cities across Australia and will increase its 5G coverage almost five-fold and reach into at least 35 Australian cities over the next 12 months or so.

Telstra Media contact: 
Matt Smithson – Telstra State Media Manager (VIC/TAS)
Media reference number: 117/2019