There is another type of competition going on outside the main World Cup arena, and that is, who delivers the goal results to its mobile phone subscribers fastest.
In the final Group B game between England and Sweden, U.K.-based Argogroup, which monitors the user experience of mobile data services, reported that the swedish operators fared better than their UK counterparts.
The swedish provided quicker SMS alerts for the game's goals. Two of the three Swedish operators delivered SMS notification within 80 seconds of each of the goals being scored; the slowest operator did so within an average of 114 seconds. Three of the U.K. operators delivered their SMS within 121 seconds on average, but goal updates from one operator took more than 15 minutes. That meant subscribers received news of both of the England goals several minutes after Sweden had equalized.
When it came to offering video clips, however, the measurement of success wasn't as clear-cut. Argogroup found that 3 UK delivered the clip fastest, but T-Mobile's clip showed the goal from several angles, although it took much longer to deliver.
Argogroup's report is important, as it reminds operators that it is not simply about offering live sports coverage but delivering a compelling and differentiated mobile data service. And if they want to win over subscribers, they'll have to work harder because World Cup supporters are still relying on the Internet for updates, at least for now.