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Surf’s up! Optus wins the race to Bondi Beach

This blog is by Andrew Burrell at Nokia Networks.Twitter: @AndyBurrell

Optus is one of Australia’s leading mobile operators, with more than 9 million subscribers and a reputation for being a technology leader with an insatiable hunger for innovation. The company was the first Australian operator to launch a combined TD/FDD-LTE (4G) network and the first to release a mobile payment app down under. And together with Nokia networks, it built the world’s first 'Gigasite', delivering eye-watering data speeds of 1.7 Gigabits per second.

Next on the Optus agenda was a high-profile capacity upgrade of it’s network coverage at the iconic Bondi beach. The operator wanted to ensure that there was sufficient capacity in place to cope with the annual City2Surf event in Sydney, considered to be one of the largest charity runs, attracting over 80,000 runners and covering a distance of 14 km to the finishing line on Bondi beach.

Is it a Frisbee or is it a small cell?

Nokia Networks services experts helped Optus plan, deploy and optimize the performance of FlexiLite small cells. 3-D Geolocation was used to investigate traffic patterns in the area and find hotspots needing additional capacity. The beach itself proved to be a challenging environment for the Frisbee-sized small cells because the existing macro coverage was strong. Indeed, about 80% of the samples were found to have Received Signal Code Power (RSCP) of -85 dBm or above. Nokia, rated as a leader in small cells by Gartner, was able to overcome this through the use of directional antennas and careful selection of azimuth. And... Nokia Networks engineers happily volunteered to perform ‘walk tests’ of the beach area, to find the perfect antenna placement!

The deployment of small cells increased the capacity of Optus’ network by nearly 70%, ensuring a fast and reliable mobile experience for subscribers before, during, and after the City2Surf event.

For more details about this project, please read the success story. You can also learn how Nokia Networks solves urban congestion by referring to this infographic and Hetnet Brochure.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #NetworksPerform #mobilebroadband #smallcells #ExpertAdvantage #HetNets.

Andrew Burrell

About Andrew Burrell

Andy is responsible for Nokia’s Digital Operations’ marketing.  After more than 25 years in the telecoms industry he remains fascinated by the possibilities of technology, in particular the potential of 5G and Artificial Intelligence to transform networks, operations and business.  He loves to use his various devices to keep up with social media, news, and above all, the football results. Finally realizing that the phone call from Arsenal FC was never going to come, he has given up playing and now prefers to watch his kids chase their own dreams from the side of the pitch.  Tweet me @andyburrell or connect via

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