Unlike Winston the carrier pigeon who famously beat a transmitted data capsule from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton was pipped at the post in a similar race against Vodacom Business' Metro E network yesterday.
In what the company described as a "nail-biting" race over three laps at Kyalami's racetrack Metro E barely beat Hamilton in a "neck-and-neck, once-in-a-lifetime" race against time.
As part of the challenge, Lewis raced around the 4,2km Kyalami Race Track in Johannesburg against a data capsule of 5,4Gb of data transmitted across Vodacom Business’ super-fast, high-capacity Metro Ethernet fibre network from Midrand to Sandton.
On the third non-standing race lap, Lewis’ time of 2.0 minutes exactly matched that of the data capsule. However with his first-lap time of 2.11 minutes and a second lap of 2.09 minutes, Metro E just managed to take the overall race on average lap times.
The 5,4Gb of data was enough to contain about five full-length movies of about 1Gb each. Lewis, as part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team, was competing against Metro E in a Mercedes-Benz AMG C63, which has a top speed of 250km/h.
Hamilton said about the race: “This was a unique challenge – I’m used to racing against a person and not technology. The moment I got into my car I knew that the speed at which the information travels would be very hard to beat – however that was the challenge.”
Ermano Quartero, managing executive of products and services at Vodacom Business, says the day was all about high technology, high speed, high performance and high reliability, and celebrated a milestone for Vodacom Business and South African enterprises.
“Metro E provides the capacity and speed to fulfill all big business’ mission-critical and time-sensitive connectivity needs – reliably and cost-effectively," he says. "With Metro E, businesses have access to a super-fast, high capacity fibre connection, giving them greater control over what they send and how they connect and communicate.”
Will Lewis be back for a repeat performance?
“I love it in South Africa. I’ve received an incredible reception from its people – and I really didn’t have a full idea of the following I have here. It’s been a great experience and I really enjoyed racing on the Kyalami race track,” he says