Mobile traffic lifted off in Houston this past weekend setting a new record for our network at the NCAA® Men’s Final Four®.*

More than a year ago, our network team huddled up to develop a game plan. Their goal? To give our customers a great experience at this year’s Final Four and pro football’s “Big Game” in 2017. And they delivered in the clutch.

Over the weekend and throughout the Big Dance®, fans shared the most exciting moments from their smartphones with family and friends – from dunks and championship-clinching buzzer beaters to concerts and shows. Here’s what we saw in Houston:

  • At the stadium, traffic rose to more than 7.1TB on Saturday and Monday. This is the most ever for an NCAA Men’s Final Four on an AT&T** venue-specific mobile network. 7.1TB is enough for 20.3M Final Four selfies.
  • Total data usage from the games, concerts and events in Houston was more than 12.1TB. This is enough data to check college basketball scores and news on the web for 96 years without stopping.
  • Across all 14 tournament host sites we saw more than 15.9TB of data on our mobile network. This is equal to streaming more than 9,025 college basketball games*** with HD video.
  • Over the last five NCAA Men’s Final Four tournaments (2012-2016), total data usage on AT&T’s venue-specific mobile network alone has increased more than 900 percent.

To handle the tournament’s full-court mobile press, we upgraded our network roster with an all-star line-up of tools. We brought in a Distributed Antenna System, cell towers on wheels, cell site enhancements… even a “giant eyeball antenna.” All built to imaginatively provide better service for our customers.

We’re happy with the network foundation we laid in Houston for the Final Four, but we’ll continue to raise the bar. We’ll build on it with further improvements over the next 10 months as we get ready for the “Big Game” next February.

*NCAA, Final Four and March Madness are official trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

**AT&T is a Corporate Champion of the NCAA.

*** Estimated length of game is 2 hours.


Bill Smith
Bill Smith President - AT&T Network Operations, AT&T Services Inc