Ericsson, Telstra bring 5G to MCG for Aussie Rules Grand Final

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Ericsson-enabled 5G stadium coverage is set to enhance the connectivity experiences of Telstra customers with 5G handsets attending the biggest day in the Australian Football League’s (AFL) annual calendar – the AFL Grand Final on September 28.

About 100,000 fans of Richmond Football Club and Greater Western Sydney Giants will descend on Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the clash, with millions more watching live broadcasts. Also known as ‘Aussie Rules’, AFL is the most popular spectator sport in Australia.

In partnership with the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), Ericsson and Telstra have already connected the MCG with Ericsson Connected Stadium solutions using 3G and 4G.

The partners have now started to install 5G stadium connectivity at the iconic venue. Attending fans with Telstra 5G handsets will be the first to benefit, through enhanced network experience with faster browsing and downloads enabled through greater capacity.

Following the Grand Final, Telstra and Ericsson engineers will continue to test and refine 4G and 5G coverage weekly to evaluate the engineering deployment design and optimize future deployment solutions at the MCG.

Nikos Katinakis, Group Executive, Networks & IT, Telstra, says: “The speed and capacity of 5G is great on days like the AFL Grand Final. On match day last year, we saw a massive 3.8 Terabytes of data sent over Telstra’s mobile network at the MCG – equivalent to 1,200 hours of HD video content. There are also benefits for customers using 4G, as the underlying network is also enhanced by the installation of the latest technologies.”

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

Melbourne Cricket Club Chief Executive, Stuart Fox, says: “We are 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.”