Telcos boost capacity for Rugby World Cup

Telecom and Vodafone cooperate over Eden Park telecommunications technology

Planning mobile coverage for major events is part of a telco's normal workload, says Vodafone's general manager of networks and services, Mike Davies. But the upcoming Rugby World Cup will require some special effort.

Davies says Telecom and Vodafone have formed a consortium to fit out the redeveloped Eden Park with shared infrastructure and have invited 2degrees to join the effort. Each telco will then layer their own network elements on top of that shared resource.

Additional capacity will also be deployed to social hotspots such as the city centre and Viaduct, Davies says. Capacity planning is looking at requirements for Eden Park fringe areas such as Kingsland and Dominion Rd.

Some of the required work is being put out to tender shortly, he says.

Looking further afield, Vodafone has upgraded the backhaul from more than 830 cell sites to 10Gbit/s and already uses COWS (cellsites on wheels) to service special events such as Fieldays and the Ellerslie Flower Show in Christchurch.

Davies says Vodafone is used to covering test matches from Eden Park, but it made sense to build the technology needed for coverage into the redeveloped site during construction, rather than later.

A further capacity requirement is an upgrade of international capacity for roamers, he says.

Davies says peak network demand for Vodafone usually comes at Christmas and New Year. With the Rugby World Cup in September and October that traditional planning will be brought forward.

"The timing works beautifully," he says.

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