NZ company eases mobile strain at Olympics

Opening ceremony calls double previous record.

New Zealand company Compudigm International is helping Telstra cope with an unprecedented volume of mobile phone traffic from Sydney's Olympic Park.

During the opening ceremony on Friday evening, 125,000 calls amounting to 200,000 minutes of traffic were connected inside Stadium Australia - double the previous event record set during the Bledisloe Cup. Almost 500,000 mobile calls were connected in Sydney Olympic Park on Friday afternoon and evening. At its peak, the stadium's mobile phone traffic levels accounted for more than 75% of the Sydney CBD's average traffic, according to a Telstra official.

To help make this possible, Wellington-based Compudigm has supplied its SeePower software to phone company Telstra for its first use in Australasian telecommunications. SeePower monitors the phone traffic , telling Telstra engineers where extra phone capacity is needed as people move around.

"SeePower draws data from Telstra's network into a Sybase IQ database, then converts it into visual contour images and thematic maps illustrated with key features, such as antennae and Olympic park venues," says Compudigm president and founder Andrew Cardno.

"It is possible to size an image down to one cell, or up to view network activity for the whole of New South Wales. Each individual cell can be visualised on the detailed map to reveal the actual state of the network, while the management map contains higher level information for the entire network," he says.

Telstra spent $A100 million over two years upgrading its mobile phone capacity for the Olympics, making Games Village coverage the most dense in the world, though Cardno says his firm's share only amounts to a "few hundred thousand."

Four Compudigm staff are working with the Australians to ensure effective mobile phone coverage during the games.

"It's a team effort. Our team is working with the Telstra team. We are watching things happen in a mobile environment that no-one has ever witnessed before," Cardno says.

Telstra is jubilant with the result. Its MobileNet customer centre says it received no complaints about phone coverage over the games' opening days.

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Tags mobileOlympics

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