On Sunday, fans lit up the stands with glowing smartphones as they posted, snapped and shared all the excitement from pro football’s biggest game in Atlanta.

Last night’s big game resulted in New England bringing home the championship trophy. From kickoff to the halftime show to the final play, fans in Atlanta shared heart-pounding moments and used more than 11.5 Terabytes (TB)* of data in and around the stadium on game day. That’s equal to more than 32 million super selfies from the stands. This sets a new mobile data usage record for any championship sporting event or football game to ever cross our network.

Even greater, we saw more than 23.5 TB of data cross our network within a 2-mile radius of the stadium in Atlanta on Sunday.

Even with the high traffic, the thousands of first responders equipped with FirstNet didn’t have to compete with fans for access to network resources. FirstNet is the nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. Never before has public safety’s high-quality Band 14 spectrum or a FirstNet-dedicated SatCOLT been available to provide optimal coverage and capacity for first responders at the Big Game. Plus, with FirstNet’s always-on priority and preemption, responders were able to confidently communicate and coordinate before, during and after the game and focus on what matters most – keeping fans safe.

Breaking Data Records:


Just like the game, the data didn’t disappoint reaching record-setting numbers:

  • Data traffic from the Big Game alone was up 172% compared to the average pro football game nationwide in 2018.**
  • At half-time alone, more than 237 gigabytes (GB) of data crossed our network within 15 minutes— making it the most-shared moment of the game.
  • In the week leading up to the game, fans attended festivals, concerts, meet and greets and other activities. They used more than 58 TB of mobile data within a 2-mile radius of game-related events between Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 3 in the Atlanta area.

Breaking data records is something we’ve come to expect from football fans. Regular season data usage jumped from 263TB to 436TB, a 65% increase from last season.

If total mobile data used throughout the regular season determined the outcome of the football championship, then Houston would celebrate as the data champions. 

Building our Network

We’ve been working for more than a year to boost our network for the Big Game, and all the tailgates, parties and concerts that come with it. To help give fans and first responders a great wireless experience, we ran the best plays on our Atlanta network.

  • Throughout the 2018 season, we upgraded our in-stadium Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in Atlanta to provide our customers with 300% more LTE capacity.
  • In addition to the stadium, we upgraded or installed a new DAS at 30 additional locations near heavily trafficked places like hotels, airports and convention centers.
  • We also deployed 5 Cell on Light Trucks (COLTs), which equal 8 traditional cell sites.
  • And it doesn’t stop there. We also enhanced or built 103 new permanent sites near heavily trafficked places like hotels, airports and convention centers. The best part? These enhancements aren’t going anywhere. They’ll continue to benefit Atlanta residents, businesses, visitors, and first responders well after the big weekend.

The 2019 sports year is already off to a great start. And we’ll be there with a strong network as fans continue to share all the unforgettable moments. And as first responders continue to keep those moments safe and secure.


*Total data from 10 AM-1 AM on Sunday, February 3 in and around the stadium.

**All data metrics come from AT&T customers at venues with a DAS where AT&T’s mobile network is on-air. These metrics are not comprehensive of every game played during this season for college or pro football.