Telstra CoW goes to Cowes for the Moto Grand Prix

Media Release, 24 October 2012

Motorsport fans attending this week’s Australian Moto Grand Prix, on Phillip Island, will experience improved mobile phone coverage, with Telstra installing a Cell on Wheels (CoW) at the track. While the CoW might not be as nimble as some of its two wheeled counterparts, or attract as many fans, it is essential to helping Telstra customers get the most out of their visit to the course.

A CoW is a piece of temporary infrastructure that can be tethered to the Telstra Next G® mobile broadband network to allow more mobile users to be online or on the phone at the same time.

Loretta Willaton, Area General Manager Gippsland, said the additional capacity will better cater for spectators’ growing demand to use their smartphones at sporting events and festivals such as the Moto GP.

“The Telstra Next G® mobile network has been designed to manage the normal day to day demands in a particular area but when a large event is held for a few days or even weeks, a CoW can be mustered in to take the pressure off the existing network,” said Ms Willaton.

“By deploying a CoW we can 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.

“We’ve used CoWs very successfully where communications are vital both following natural disasters and at special events. We have a herd of CoWs in each state, and can deploy them where they are needed.

“Like the elite teams racing this weekend at the Moto GP the Telstra CoW is supported by a team of radio engineering experts and network specialists who will make sure that the network is operating as well as possible under the peak demand of the event.”

Ms Willaton said at peak times customers may still experience slower than expected data.

“If data is slower than expected I’d encourage our customers to wait a few minutes and try again. Just as the bars, bathrooms and pit lane experience a heavier demand at times, so too does the mobile network.”

The installation of a CoW at the Moto GP is one part of Telstra’s commitment to 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.