The Wifi Network At The Australian Open Is Pretty Smart And Even Knows Who's Important

Serena Williams at the Australian Open. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Gone are the days when you’d go to a sports match or festival and struggle to get a WiFi connection or phone reception because too many people are on the network.

Aruba Networks has been working with Tennis Australia to ensure everyone has access to the internet at the Australian Open.

Aruba CEO Dominic Orr said providing wifi to the public at tournaments is expected by users and enhances the experience.

So far at this year’s Australian Open 2015, the technology team at Tennis Australia are seeing an increase of more than 500% in user logins and over 300% in smart devices on the Public WiFi, compared to the 2014 Open.

Of those logging onto the network, more than 60% of devices are Apple with Android making up 19.2%.

The top three destinations are Facebook, Amazon Cloud Drive and Tennis Australia Local.

But with so many devices trying to access the network Aruba had to make it smart enough to figure out what’s important and what’s not. So if a player’s coach is trying to make a phone call he gets through rather than an onlooker’s iCloud backup clogging the system.

“To get access to that you need a very strong WiFi network with the smarts to be able to prioritise the officials who are operating the tournament,” Orr said.

“The air is going to be a very rare resource – ultimately we’re going to run out of this resource so you have to decide who’s important,” Orr said, adding the WiFi network needs to have the smarts to be able to priortise an official operating the tournament.

“The antennas don’t just look for the data to transmit they look at who it is.

“One of the core competencies we’ve built is prioritising traffic which is crucial in a high density user environment.”

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