Telcos pleased with network performance for world cup

Update 4.25pm: Vodafone responds to complaint regarding poor coverage during opening ceremony

Cellphone networks appear to have weathered the demand storm caused by the Rugby World Cup opening on Friday night.

Telecom spokesperson Katherine Murphy says the Telecom network performed “fantastically well”.

“We’d put a lot of preparation and investment into boosting the coverage,” she says. “We’re very, very pleased.”

Vodafone spokesman Matt East says the telco is “pretty happy”

“There was some congestion around the Viaduct, and at Eden Park at half-time,” he says.

“There were no problems at all at the North Harbour stadium and in Wellington [on Sunday night].”

Communications manager Michael Bouliane says there were no capacity or coverage issues on the 2degrees network in the week weekend.

"The 2degrees network is strong and held up to the increased traffic very well, as expected," he says.

"In fact, I was at both the Viaduct and Eden Park on Friday afternoon / evening, and was quickly uploading photos to Facebook throughout the opening ceremonies and game on my 2degrees smartphone."

Computerworld monitored Twitter during and after the game on Friday and didn't see much comment on the performance of the mobile networks, although we did catch the following exchange:

@nzigel (Nigel Parker): "@TelecomNZ best experience I saw at ground was a Telecom LG WP7 on XT running the official #rwc2011 official app. Vodafone data was broken".

@GrantisNZ (Grant): "TelecomNZ How do you know "Vodafone data was broken"? You can't speak for everyone at the game last night dude".

@nzigel replied with this pic of other people commenting on Vodafone's poor performance.

Nigel Parker to @GrantisNZ: "FYI my current job is technical project manager for our [Microsoft's] sponsorship of RWC focusing on software/video platform for the tournament".

Updated: 4.25pm

In response to Chee Pang's comment below Vodafone spokesman Matt East emailed Computerworld and said that Vodafone are making "additional tweaks" to improve their subscribers' experience following some peak congestion in Eden Park on Friday.

He also explained the improvements Vodafone has made to its network in preparation for the Rugby World Cup:

"Vodafone has implemented a detailed programme of activity and huge effort from our technology teams over the last eight months in preparation for RWC. We have completed upgrades to each of the 12 stadiums as well as to five airports and popular tourist destinations such as Coromandel, Ohope, and Queenstown.

"The multimillion dollar investment includes 15 new site, and upgrades of speed and capacity to 85 other sites and 14 cellsites on wheels (COWs) deployed around the country.

"At Eden Park, in collaboration with Telecom, we have undertaken a complete new build of communications where 256 new antenna and 13 kilometres of cable have been installed. Vodafone has seven base stations over seven sectors, which is the biggest concentration of power in NZ, being able to support over 300Mb/s of data and approximately 3,500 simultaneous calls.

"We have been rigorously testing capacity each weekend and further equipment was added after the recent Bledisloe Cup.

"We also have a number of temporary solutions (14 new cell sites on wheels) that can be moved around throughout the event, to where they are needed to cover busy crowd areas like outside the stadiums and fan zones.”

"We believe we have done everything we can, through this multi-million dollar investment in infrastructure, to prepare our network for the Rugby World Cup. However, as with any event where there is a large concentration of people all wanting to the same thing at the same time, there may be delays in certain situations. Just like there may be delays at the bar at half time when it’s time to get a drink because hundreds of other people have the same idea, the same applies if everyone decides to upload a photo of the haka to their Facebook page at the same time."

11 Comments

Chee Pang

1

I was at the opening ceremony at Eden Park and bemused that I could not get Vodafone 3G data coverage on a new Galaxy S2 phone the whole time I was at Eden Park (from 6pm). The best I got was I managed to get a tweet out on the way to the stadium on the bus.

According to this article http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10730491 on the herald it mentions Vodafone have added "13km of fibre cables and 247 antennae" to ensure extra capacity around Eden Park for the World Cup with the intent of also handling social media sharing. Based on Friday night I'm concerned they could not even allow us to connect to 3G let alone send photos/video.I also experienced txt and calling problems throughout the day both at the Viaduct and at Eden Park.

I have tickets to the RWC Final, can Vodafone give any assurances that this won't be repeated for that event and can anyone attending any upcoming games at Eden Park confirm that they are able to use Vodafone 3G and effectively send media content. I will be very interested in the results.

Anonymous

2

so in fact all the comments were from telcos or people who work for a company working for telcos.

awesome.

Anonymous

3

"so in fact all the comments were from telcos or people who work for a company working for telcos."

Nigel Parker works for Microsoft (why else would someone be using a WM7 phone ;-)). Microsoft is not a Telco.

Anonymous

4

They're having a laugh aren't they ?

On 2degrees there was no data from 3:30 downtown and from about 6pm txts stopped as well. Quite scary not being able to find the wife and kids in all that was going on.

Barry

5

On Vodafone: Couldn't phone for most of the time at Viaduct on Friday night. Text messages delayed by 1.5hrs. No data capability at all. Friends on Telecom XT phones had no problems. At North Harbour Stadium on Sat night and Sunday matches, I couldn't access any data services at all, including MMS. Could call and send regular texts though. Small consolation.

john

6

Vodafone has a aged network that simply cannot accommodate the demand put on it. It was fine 15 years ago but hello Vodafone what do you expect with poor investment.

Tim

7

On 2degrees I got a "network busy" message a few times on Sunday evening in Johnsonville, which is about five minutes drive from the Wellington stadium. I'm not sure if it was related or not, but i've never gotten that message before.

Tony

8

I tried to make a couple of calls before, at half time and after the game. None wen't through.A facebook Picture upload and text did eventually get through though.

xt user

9

worked great during opening ceremony. i made an outbound call & got an inbound call with good voice quality. FB check in worked also

Anonymous

10

My experience was dire! I couldn't get through to other Voda numbers and my text message were delayed significantly. Also I got two voice mails on Saturday morning for messages left at around 3pm Friday!!

Trademe

11

Was unable to make any phone calls on Vodafones network from about 3pm onwards and text messages were being delayed by up to half any hour which meant contacting anyone else in the crowd was impossible. I eventually got two voice mail messages and severely delayed text messages which had been sent 30 minutes prior. I was able to access the RWC 2011 iPhone app over the 3G network on my friend's iPhone 4 during the game although updates were taking forever to load. I was also able to view data on the 3News app and the Herald app for iPhone with out too many problems.

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