The Super Bowl 52 matchup between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles made history, with data usage breaking records for the fifth year in a row, with fans consuming 16.31 terabytes of data over Wi-Fi, according to Extreme Networks, the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider of the NFL.
Cell usage was also up, with Verizon reporting 18.8 TB of data going over their network in the stadium for the Super Bowl on February 4. This is the equivalent of a single user binge-watching HD video for 435 straight days.
On Super Bowl Sunday, AT&T users consumed 7.2 TB of data over its network in the stadium, the equivalent to more than 20.6 million selfies from the stands.
Sprint, which reports traffic from inside and around the stadium, had fans using 9.7 TB on its networks during Super Bowl 52.
SEE: How the NFL and its stadiums became leaders in Wi-Fi, monetizing apps, and customer experience (TechRepublic free download)
"Not surprisingly, overall usage continues to increase year over year—specifically the percentage of fans who accessed the Wi-Fi network during the event—which was an impressive 40,033 fans, or 59% of those in attendance. This is a 10% increase from Super Bowl LI which saw 49% of fans in attendance access Wi-Fi," according to an Ryan Hall, senior vertical marketing specialist at Extreme Networks.
The most fans concurrently on Wi-FI was 25,670, which is a slight decrease from Super Bowl 51, with 27,191. This could be attributed to fewer seats at the venue, with only 65,000 fans in attendance, compared to 71,000 at Super Bowl 51.
Of the 16.31 TB of Wi-Fi data, pre-game festivities resulted in 7.7 TB of data being used, and the remaining 8.6 TB was used after kickoff. The peak data transfer rate was 7.867 Gbps, according to Extreme.
Extreme Networks reported that of the 16.31 TB of Wi-Fi data, 2.6 TB was used via social media, a 65% increase from the previous year. The top social applications were Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Last year, fans consumed 1.7 TB of data via social media, as previously published in TechRepublic.
The most-used streaming applications were iTunes, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Periscope. The top applications by category were social media, streaming, sports and searches.
- Super Bowl 52: How the NFL and US Bank Stadium are ready to make digital history (TechRepublic)
- Super Bowl LII: How Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have boosted LTE (ZDNet)
- How the NFL and NRG Stadium are preparing for record-breaking data usage during Super Bowl 51 (TechRepublic)
- NFL adopts HP's 3D-scanning tech to bring customized cleats to players (ZDNet)
- How to stream the 2018 Super Bowl (ZDNet)
- This high-tech stadium roof will keep fans warm during the big game (CNET)
- Super Bowl sets stage for best mobile carrier network (CNET)
- Wireless networking policy (Tech Pro Research download)
Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.