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Optus, Cisco Partner to Drive Connectivity for Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

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Optus Business and Cisco have partnered to create the smart network which will allow the world to connect with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

The high speed, resilient network will span the 37 GC2018’s locations, including operational, command and sporting venues, creating a seamless user experience for officials, athletes and spectators.

To ensure a world-class user experience for those relying on the infrastructure, Optus developed a standalone, carrier grade network using 426 kilometres of Optus fibre. Cisco’s infrastructure underpins the integrated communications solution which Optus will deliver and manage for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (GOLDOC) following a competitive tender process.

John Paitaridis, Managing Director Optus Business, said, “Optus and Cisco have built the infrastructure that Optus will manage so that athletes, officials and spectators, near and far, can share in the excitement of the event.

“The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will demonstrate what Optus has to offer – including our ability to design, build and operate the leading technology supporting an event on the global stage. We are proud that the GOLDOC has entrusted Optus to deliver and manage the technology that will deliver the GC2018 to a world-wide audience.”

Providing athletes with priceless support
Throughout the Games Village, 6600 athletes will have access to free Optus-provided Wi-Fi. GC2018’s officials advised on the locations which would be the most used by athletes so special Cisco access points could bolster connectivity.

“Like all of us, athletes are embracing the digital world, communicating with coaches, family and friends on smartphones and tablets, with more reliance on apps and video streaming, which require a powerful, reliable connection. No matter where they are from, the athletes will be able to connect their devices to the Optus network and interact seamlessly from their home away from home,” said Mr. Paitaridis.

To manage the technology across all 37 operational, command and sporting venues, Optus has placed a dedicated team in the Optus Gold Coast Delivery Hub. From ticketing to officiating, the network management plays an integral part of the event’s delivery. Key Cisco technical experts have been embedded in the team working alongside Optus experts to ensure the smart network is Games-ready when GC2018 commences in a month’s time.

Meeting the increased digital demands of today’s global events
International and local television networks will use Optus’s services to upload and share footage, with many networks now relying on cloud-based transfer for fast, secure delivery to spectators who are internationally tuning in. Video streaming – which accounted for 75% of all internet traffic in 2017¹ – is a critical component of networks’ offering.

Since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Facebook, Instagram and other social media have also embraced video streaming.

“Connectivity and data sharing at large-scale events, such as the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, has become an expectation for spectators. Cisco provides the infrastructure that supports the network, which is integral to the role technology plays in our personal and professional lives. We are delighted to be partnering with Optus to deliver digital capabilities for the largest sporting event Australia will hold this decade,” explained Ken Boal, Vice President, Australia & New Zealand at Cisco.

Leveraging strength of strategic partnership
Using its best-of-breed expertise, Cisco conducted a detailed, critical audit of the networks design to ensure that the resilience of the equipment, licensing, and architecture was global best practice and will deliver the GC2018’s extensive collaboration requirements.

Mr Paitaridis said for two decades, Optus Business and Cisco have worked together to embrace and respond to each new wave of technology disruption.

“Our long-standing strategic partnership has allowed us to work as one, leverage each other’s strengths and provide the 2018 Commonwealth Game with a smart network that will set a global standard and showcase Australia’s innovation.”

Cisco named Optus Business as ANZ Partner of the Year in 2017. Optus Business is the Diamond Partner of this year’s Cisco Live event at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on 6-9 March. The companies will showcase collaborations from their 21-year strong strategic partnership at the event.