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.
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