Apart from Hawthorn taking the flag, the big day at the MCG was an exciting time for Telstra for another reason. The 2015 Toyota AFL Grand Final was the culmination of months of work for Telstra as we successfully trialled the full Emergency Grade LTE Advanced Network for Emergency Services (LANES) capability, including access prioritisation, at the MCG with Ambulance Victoria at the ground.

Stadium environments like the MCG have traditionally been a pain point for Emergency Services using mobile broadband communications. When 100,000 fans all wish to jump online, post selfies at the game, stream instant replays and comment on social media, it can make the network very congested and difficult for Emergency Services to use their data effectively among teams on site. But Ambulance Victoria had one less pain to deal with on the weekend, thanks to our successful trial of Telstra LANESTM.

How did we do it? Our LANES technology provides a way for Emergency Services to more effectively manage their mission critical mobile broadband communications needs in times when the network may be otherwise congested. Our mobile network runs over a number of spectrum ‘bands’ and these bands can be viewed as a ‘lane’ on the wireless highway.

Through LANES we can separate a portion of spectrum that our 4G network operates on and offer this to Emergency Services for their exclusive use, as well as providing priority access to the network – on the wireless highway it’s like offering Emergency Services its very own express lane.

What this means, is that no matter how many people are using the Telstra network in a single location (like the MCG), Emergency Services can have uninterrupted access to broadband to service mission critical cases. This solution has shown us that stadiums filled to capacity are no longer an issue for Emergency Services communication via the mobile network. It was great to be able to allow Ambulance Victoria to experience this solution working on our network.

From here Telstra will be further pursuing LANES opportunities with our Emergency Services and Enterprise customers.