Feature Article

February 05, 2013

AT&T Super Bowl Mobile Traffic Set Records, Increased 80 Percent over 2012 Super Bowl

All evidence points to the fact that Super Bowl XLVII was the most connected Super Bowl yet, based on the number of ways to watch the game online and the massive Twitter reaction alone.

What this really demonstrates is how connected we all are now as a society, and data released today by wireless carrier AT&T only serves to underscore this point.

According to the company, the power failure that occurred during the latter half of the game led to a record surge in mobile traffic on the AT&T network. Indeed, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, which covered both the halftime show and the power disruption, AT&T customers used 78 gigabytes of data inside the New Orleans Superdome — doubling the peak volume of last year's Super Bowl and setting the record for most ever data use at an in-stadium championship game.

While many took to Twitter during the blackout — 231,500 tweets were being sent per minute for the half hour or so that the stadium was dark — many likely turned to media to pass the time in order to use that much data.

In fact, 78 gigabytes equals roughly 234,000 social media posts with photos or over 10 straight days of streamed high-definition video, while according to the National Football League, the stadium held 71,024 fans.

Traffic for the entire game totaled 388 gigabytes – a figure 80 percent higher than the 2012 Super Bowl and another record.

This sort of data usage isn't too surprising based on the number of customers turning to smartphones in recent years, which has led data usage to double every years since 2007, according to AT&T. Meanwhile, as mobile network operators vie for customers' attention, the potential for data use continues to grow.

For example, AT&T stated in January that it will allow customers to make FaceTime calls over cellular networks at no additional charge, opening the offer up beyond those on LTE plans.

Edited by Braden Becker

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