For fans of American football, last night marked the culmination of a season full of victories, upsets, great plays, and fumbled opportunities, coming together as Super Bowl XLVIII. Some eighty-two thousand fans packed into the Meadowlands for the game, and for many of them, that meant bringing along their smartphones. AT&T prepared in advance for the onslaught its network would experience from all those fans snapping photos, posting status updates, and checking stats by augmenting coverage with a distributed antenna system, and today shares some of the specifics behind just how much data football fans consumed last night.
During the course of the game, AT&T’s network moved traffic adding up to 624GB – that’s a lot of tweets. While activity was high all night, the heaviest usage occurred prior to the game actually getting underway, and between 5 and 6pm, AT&T users consumed 119GB.
Unsurprisingly, figures are up from last year (as both more people move to smartphones, and those having them use more data), but the rate of growth might be a little shocking: back in 2013, AT&T only measured 388GB during the game, meaning this year’s event saw 60% higher usage.
And keep in mind: these are just AT&T’s numbers. Factor in the other major carriers, and we’re probably looking at easily a terabyte of data flying through the air alongside that pigskin.