Telstra adds Next G® capacity to MCG ahead of AFL Grand Final

Media Release, 26 September 2012

Footy fans attending Saturday’s AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will experience improved mobile phone coverage, with Telstra more than doubling its current Next G network capacity inside the stadium.

Telstra’s new infrastructure at the MCG is the result of a 15-month service upgrade that puts the same amount of available capacity into the venue as many major regional centres.

Mike Wright, Executive Director Networks and Access Technologies, said the additional capacity will better cater for spectators’ growing demand to use their smartphones at major sporting events.

“Over the past 15 months, we have undertaken a range of projects to increase wireless network capacity at the MCG, not only improving capacity for Telstra customers at Saturday’s Grand Final, but for other major events in the future,” Mr Wright said.

“This will better cater for the ever-growing number of people who now use their smart phones not simply to make calls or send text messages, but for uploading photo and video content to social media sites.

“Our improvements at the MCG have also included installing dedicated 4G infrastructure, which means fans with a compatible device can access some of the world’s fastest mobile internet speeds.”

Mr Wright said that peak mobile traffic on Grand Final day would occur during major breaks in play.

“We have done a lot of work to improve the experience for our customers at the ground, but we do know there may still be instances during the day when we experience network congestion. It’s like the entire population of a city the size of Albury-Wodonga all wanting to be on smart phones at the same time,” he said.

“If congestion occurs I’d encourage our customers to wait a few minutes and try again. Just as the bars, bathrooms and exit aisles experience a heavier demand at these times, so too does the mobile network.”

The network upgrades at the MCG are part of Telstra’s commitment to continually broaden and improve its mobile broadband network across the country. Over the past year, Telstra has undertaken more than 5000 network upgrades, as well as installing more than 1000 4G sites in over 100 metropolitan and regional areas.