Monday, 23 September 2019 12:16

Telstra, Ericsson bring 5G coverage to AFL Grand final Featured


Telstra is partnering with Ericsson and the Melbourne Cricket Club to install 5G into the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in readiness for the AFL grand final next Saturday.

The big telco says come Saturday’s Grand Final, customers on its 5G network at the game can expect an enhanced network experience with faster browsing and downloads.

The 5G project at the MCG 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.

Telstra says the network has performed strongly over the last four years and now - 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,”Katinakis said.

Telstra says that 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,” 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.”

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


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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