The World Cup breaks a number of traffic records on EE’s 4G network
The World Cup might be over for England, but three games In which the national team participated caused a surge in social media and streaming traffic on EE’s 4G network, while Australia’s Tim Cahill and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez also caused significant network spikes.
During England’s first match with Italy on 14 June, EE witnessed a 2,700 percent increase in the use of BBC iPlayer and noted that Facebook use dropped during the match but Twitter provide more popular.
“We found it particularly interesting that social media platforms that demand more attention, such as Facebook, saw a slight fall in activity during the match (peaking again at half time), whereas Twitter, which by its nature lends itself more to use during a match, peaked throughout,” says EE.
England lost the match 2-1, which meant they needed a result against Uruguay on 19 June or their World Cup would be virtually over. The interest in the crucial tie was such that it smashed all traffic records on EE’s network. The use of streaming applications rose by 45 percent compared to normal traffic, and grew by 65 percent in the second half as the match become more intense.
Social media suffered however as nervous fans couldn’t bear to turn their eyes away from the screen, although there was a spike at half time and at the final whistle as England fans voiced their views on another 2-1 defeat that ultimately knocked them out of the World Cup.
This made England’s final group game against Costa Rica almost meaningless and this was reflected by a slump in EE’s network traffic. The 17:00 kick off resulted in increased use before the match as fans tuned in on the way home from work, but many found the game so boring they switched off. It finished 0-0.
Social media bites back
Interestingly, social media use shot up towards the end of the match as fans heard about an event in the Uruguay v Italy match that was being played simultaneously. Uruguay’s Luis Suarez had bitten another player and people were eager to find replays or information about the incident.
“There [were] clearly fewer people engaging with this dead rubber game, but plenty of action on social media around all the replays of the drama from the Uruguay game,” adds EE.
However the single biggest spike of traffic witnessed by EE had nothing to do with England. It occurred shortly after Australian Tim Cahill scored a spectacular strike against the Netherlands at 17:21 on 18 June.
The figures highlight the growing demand for connectivity around sporting events from fans at home and at the stadiums. Cisco claims that the Internet traffic generated by 60,000 people in a stadium or travelling to matches is likely to surpass the average peak traffic from all 94 million smartphones in Brazil, while all 12 World Cup arenas have been equipped with Wi-Fi networks for spectators.
Cisco also predicting that live streaming will result in an additional 4.3 exabytes of Internet traffic during the event, while Adobe believes the World Cup will be the most socially active sporting event ever.