World Cup 2014: Mobile traffic exceeds 1 million connections

Opening match sees huge mobile communications spike at the stadium — and infrastructure manages to cope
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

In what appears to be the most high-tech football event ever, the World Cup opening match at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo has seen more than one million mobile data communications and 135,000 mobile phone calls.

The data generated by just over 61,000 fans during the between Brazil and Croatia included emails, photos and multimedia messages with an average size of 0.55 MB, according to data released by Brazilian telecommunications Union SindiTelebrasil.

However, 500GB is not a huge amount compared to recent predictions that the data traffic during the World Cup final next month will reach about 12.6 terabytes at Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Despite the rushed implementation of telecommunications equipment, the infrastructure for indoor telecommunications coverage managed to cope with the intensive use of voice services and data services during the match.

According to the union, the use of voice service peaked around 1pm and 3pm — just before the start of the match — and data was used the most during the event. 3G connections represented the majority of the data volume, while 4G represented 26 percent of all connections during the opening ceremony within the stadium.

The indoor coverage at the São Paulo venue alone has 337 antennas, connected by a 12-kilometer fiber optic network.

The area outside the stadium has been enhanced with 22 mobile antennas. This is the result of a project focused on the World Cup involving local telcos Claro, Oi, Nextel, Vivo and Tim, who invested a total amount of R$226m ($101.2m) and shared infrastructure, according to SindiTelebrasil.

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