Last week, Netscout predicted the nation’s four Tier-1 carriers would carry a massive 32 TB of data across their networks during Sunday’s Super Bowl 51, with Verizon users gobbling up the most data. Now that the big game is over, it’s time to see how the numbers panned out.
According to Netscout, Verizon was expected to handle the largest load, with an estimated 14 TB of data, while AT&T was expected to be in a close second at 10.4 TB. T-Mobile and Sprint were forecasted to trail behind with 4.2 TB and 3.2 TB of traffic, respectively.
While football fans in NRG Stadium certainly used a bunch of data, it seems to have been slightly less than Netscout anticipated.
Verizon on Monday said its customers used 11 TB of data on Super Bowl Sunday, up 57 percent from 7 TB at last year’s game. The carrier said the top five uses among its wireless customers were uploading and watching video, social media, web browsing, uploading to the cloud, and sports apps. The high moment for usage during the game came when Lady Gaga dove off the roof of the stadium down to the stage during her halftime show.
Verizon said its network was used by 45 percent of attendees in the stadium.
AT&T said its customer usage wasn’t far behind, standing at 9.8 TB during the game. That figure included data used by AT&T customers on NRG Stadium’s DAS. The carrier said the number set a new mobile data usage record for any championship sporting event or football game on its network. AT&T said data traffic on Sunday night was up about 88 percent over usage of 5.2 TB at last year’s game.
T-Mobile didn’t immediately release its total data usage figures from the night, but CTO Neville Ray did note on Twitter customers were using four times more data than the average in-stadium total. Social media usage of Facebook and Snapchat was up tenfold, he said. That figured out to around 3,000 posts per minute to Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. The most shared moment of the game came immediately after the final touchdown, when the Un-carrier reported a 15 percent spike in data usage.
Sprint said its customers plowed through 5 TB of data during the game, marking a threefold increase in data tonnage over last year’s event. The carrier reported download speeds of 124 Mbps outside the Verizon suite in the fourth quarter, 85 Mbps from the stands in overtime, and 99 Mbps from the stands during the trophy ceremony.