Melbourne Cup 2012 (CC) BY-NC-ND Charles Van den Broek
By Seán O’Halloran, President and Managing Director, Alcatel-Lucent Australia
At 3pm on the first Tuesday in November, Australia stops… to watch a horse race.
Seems crazy, I know, but if you’re familiar with Australia’s love of sports and even bigger love for major sports events, it starts to make sense. Take a look at Telstra’s national internet traffic stats at race time and it becomes a fact hard to ignore.
So the popular saying is true: The Melbourne Cup, one of the world’s great handicap turf races, is the race that stops the nation.
But the Melbourne Cup is more than just a single race. In fact, it’s a week-long carnival, incorporating four days of racing that each attract up to 100,000 people to the famed Flemington Racecourse. It’s a festival of fashion, food and, of course, some of the world’s best thoroughbred horse racing.
And while Telstra noted a momentary dip in national traffic as the Melbourne Cup was run, there was no expectation that the thousands of on-course fans would reduce their demand. Australians are among the world’s most energetic consumers of smart mobile devices (check out Telsyte’s market study), and as is the case around the globe, keeping connected has become very much part of the big event experience.