Technology Blog

A little more adrenaline flows through the arena during the postseason, and this year, more mobile data flowed too.

Since the pro hockey and basketball playoffs started in April, millions of fans packed into arenas to witness the action. They shared their favorite plays and post-game celebrations with friends and family via their mobile devices.

At many of these venues we’ve installed specialty in-stadium networks, called Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS). These DAS support the additional mobile data demand on our network, providing the perfect assist for when tens of thousands of people try to share a slap shot or slam dunk, all at once.

Here are some of the interesting data traffic stats from this year’s hockey and basketball playoffs:

  • We had 10 hockey venues and 14 basketball venues with cellular DAS coverage this postseason.
  • The total cellular data usage on our network for these games was 16.4TB – that’s equal to 46.9M social media posts with photos.
  • The average cellular data usage on our network for each of these games was 118GB – that’s an increase of 53% compared to the average data usage per game in the month of March across these venues.
  • Basketball fans used an average of 122GB/game compared to hockey fans, who used an average of 111GB/game – that’s about 10% more data used by basketball fans per game during the playoffs.
  • Out of all postseason hockey games, the best was saved for last as the highest single game total for cellular data usage was at the Chicago arena on June 15, when more than 386GB of data crossed the network.
  • Out of all postseason basketball games, the highest single game total for cellular data usage was at the arena in Oakland on June 7, when more than 249GB of data crossed the network.
  • In the final round of the hockey playoffs, fans used an average of 221GB/game – this was 151% more data than the average game during the first round of the hockey playoffs.
  • In the final round of the basketball playoffs, fans used an average of 180GB/game – this was 46% more data than the average game during the first round of the basketball playoffs.

Mobile data has been on a breakaway on our network over the last few years – especially at big sporting events. Bragging to a friend is quicker and easier than ever. And many are using video. We announced earlier this week that in 2014 video doubled on our wireless network.

We’ll keep working on constantly improving the experience to stay at the top of the standings.

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