Best of Nights, Worst of Nights – Eden Park Fails the 3G Test

Just imagine it.  In a few weeks time we will throw our arms open and welcome a tidal wave of smartphone toting Rugby World Cup visitors to our New Zealand shores.  As they visit the stadia around the country they will no doubt be keen to “check in” and let their friends and family at home know how much they are enjoying themselves. Well, good luck to them.  If last Saturday is anything to go by, New Zealand will be the land that time forgot when it comes to mobile data and social media.

My wife, son and I were lucky enough to be in the stands at Eden Park on Saturday as the All Blacks overran the Wallabies.  The first sign that all was not right in the mobile world came when I took a pic of them with the AB’s warming up in the background and tried to post it to Foursquare via my iPhone 4 (on the Vodafone network).

10 minutes later it was still trying to upload…

After we got to our seats the big screen implored us to check in at Eden Park via Facebook. Well, I tried big screen, but unfortunately the 3G was swamped and I couldn’t get a page up.  Then I tried to stream audio of the game via the Tune In Radio app (that in itself must be a definition of madness given the cirmustances).

A picture can express a thousand words so I’ve posted a video diary of the night below – iPhone 4 styles.

I’m looking forward to the RWC 2011 and I really hope the carriers in this country give some thought to adding capacity around the main venues at game time.  It’s 2011, the year of the mobile internet and it would be a shame if this country can’t capitalise on our “kiwi ingenuity” and deliver an exceptional digital experience to our visitors.  I would be interested to hear if anyone has information on how the networks intend to address this.

And to all the rugby tourists about to arrive in New Zealand, we still do a lovely line in postcards, I’m sure your families will be delighted to hear from you in this way.