Euro 2016: England v Wales Live Streaming Causes Data Surge On EE, O2 And Vodafone

Euro 2016 2pm kick off causes many to turn to live streaming on their mobile as EE records the biggest ever spike in the history of its network

England’s dramatic 2-1 victory against Wales in Euro 2016 yesterday caused a huge spike in network traffic on three of the UK’s major mobile operators.

Such a huge clash between two British teams would have doubtless caused a significant rise in traffic, but the fact the match kicked off at 14:00 meant many office workers who were unable to sneak out of the office turned to their mobile devices to stream the game – either with or without the approval of bosses and the IT department.

The match was streamed live on the BBC Sport website and on BBC iPlayer, where it was watched by 2.3 million people – doubling the previous streaming record.

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Euro 2016 traffic

Daniel Sturridge’s injury time winner was responsible for the biggest ever peak on the EE network, causing 50 percent more traffic than the previous record, which was set when Tim Cahill scored for Australia against the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup – almost exactly two years ago.

EE Euro 2016 traffic

EE said there was a noticeable drop in traffic at half time as customers switched off their live stream to save data and battery – or do some work – and data use was even higher during a tense second half.

O2 told TechWeekEurope that traffic was 30 percent higher than during the same period last week and said there was a 16-fold increase in video traffic. Vodafone (below) said there was a 73 percent rise in data use week-on-week and video streaming accounted for 75 percent of all data whereas normally it accounts for half.

Vodafone Euro 2016 traffic

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And it’s not just the mobile operators. Network service provider Exponential-e said corporate network traffic had risen by 30 percent during the tournament and doubled during England v Wales.

Live streaming might mean fewer people leave the office during a major tournament, but it can place more strain on a corporate network. But blocking streams could damage morale, especially when employees can turn to mobile networks to bypass any restrictions.

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