Olympic spirit sees SMS soar

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Figures released by Telstra today show that more than 97,000 SMS messages and 90,000 fixed line phone calls have been made to Greece by Telstra customers since the start of the Athens Olympics.

Figures released by Telstra today show that more than 97,000 SMS messages and 90,000 fixed line phone calls have been made to Greece by Telstra customers since the start of the Athens Olympics.

"People are obviously choosing to pick up the phone to share in the Athens Olympics experience. Be it calling friends and family overseas, or sending SMS messages, we've seen substantial growth in telecommunications traffic since the Games started," said Telstra's managing director of network services, Michael Lawrey.

The figures mark a 160 and 51 per cent increase in the volume of normal SMS and fixed line traffic respectively.

The figures come from Telstra's Global Operations Centre (GOC), the central monitoring point for Telstra's phone network. The centre, located in Melbourne, manages around 44 million fixed line calls, 21 million mobile calls and 8.5 million SMS messages per day.

"[The GOC is] designed specifically to monitor and report on the tremendous volume of traffic that passes over Telstra's telecommunications networks 24/7," said Lawrey.

The Athens Olympics is not the first large-scale international event for which the GOC has managed telecommunications services. Phone networks for the Rugby World Cup 2004 and the Sydney 2000 Olympics were also managed by the GOC.

"It's the first centre of its type and has been the inspiration for many other telecommunications companies worldwide looking to centralise their network operations," said Lawrey.

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