​IBM, Cisco, and Cockram to make tech upgrades to MCG

The next upgrade phase of the Melbourne Cricket Ground will see the installation of a new Wi-Fi network and LED lighting system by IBM, Cisco, and Cockram.

IBM, Cisco, and Cockram will progressively deliver a range of technology infrastructure for the Melbourne Cricket Ground during 2015.

The upgrades will include the supply of a "high-density" Wi-Fi network inside the MCG, and the installation of an exterior LED lighting system and an internet protocol television (IPTV) system, which will include 800 HD screens, taking the total television count in the stadium to 2,800.

According to the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), currently, the Wi-Fi solution is made up of a network of 30 hotspots around the stadium, which is mainly for media and MCC corporate usage. The new Wi-Fi network is expected to have in excess of 700 hotspots, which will be enough bandwidth to cater for media, corporate, and the general public.

MCC said the upgrades will be the next phase of its AU$45 million investment in the MCG, which has already seen the installation of two high-definition scoreboards and high-definition television production facilities.

MCC CEO Stephen Gough said the investment marks the company's effort to improve the MCG customer experience.

Cockram Construction has been appointed as the head contractor of the project, while IBM will be the head technical contractor to design and evaluate the technology options.

Catherine Caruana-McManus, IBM Smarter Cities Australia director, said IBM is excited to partner with MCC on the project.

"This work will enable MCC to take advantage of the latest mobile, social, and analytics technologies. It will create unrivalled and personalised in-stadium fan engagement and ensure premier game day experiences, giving fans more reasons to visit more often," she said.

Similarly, Cisco Systems director Jonathon Dixon acknowledged that the upgrade will help the MCG become a technologically advanced stadium.

"We believe that as the Internet of Everything connects more people, processes, data, and things, the fan experience will become more immersive, customised, and engaging," he said.