When New Zealand last jointly hosted the Cricket World Cup in 1992, smartphones were fictional, TXT messaging hadn’t arrived in New Zealand, and 3G was still fifteen years away.
Fast forward to last night's opening ceremony at Hagley Park in Christchurch, where the 50,000-strong crowd chewed threw roughly 300 GB of data and 70,000 TXTs, made possible by a $200,000 network investment to boost reliability and capacity for the World Cup.
This, on top of $2 million already poured into the company’s Christchurch network over the last 15 months.
As a result, the telco says its ongoing network investment in the city means fans won’t be left stumped trying to upload pictures, send TXTs, or make calls throughout the tournament.
Special work for the matches in Canterbury includes upgrades to permanent cell sites serving Hagley Oval and Hagley Park, deploying temporary Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) for Hagley Park, building a temporary cell site for Hagley Oval, and capacity upgrades to the Victoria Street fan zone in the city centre.
Vodafone Head of Networks, Sharina Nisha, says the company is committed to keeping cricket fans connected.
“This week's warm-up match between the Black Caps and South Africa was a test for us too, and the network performed exceptionally well so we feel confident in the experience customers will have," Nisha says.
“We invest heavily in our Christchurch network throughout the year, so a lot of the hard work was already done, but we’ve made a particular effort to cater for this event.
Nisha says Vodafone’s total mobile data traffic is expected to grow by 300 percent in the next three years and the company anticipates that by 2015, 90 percent of its customers will have a smartphone - 4G usage is expected to grow by 1200 percent in the next three years.