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EE UK Spot Impact of 2019 Rugby World Cup in 4G Mobile Traffic

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 (3:23 pm) - Score 2,131

Mobile operator EE (BT) has revealed the impact that the 2019 Rugby World Cup tournament has had on their mobile broadband (mostly 4G) network traffic, which for example delivered a 20% surge in data usage during the England v New Zealand semi-final on 26th September. Games involving Wales also created an increase.

A lot of the Home Nations matches (England, Wales and Scotland) tended to occur during the early morning period (i.e. games kicking off at 08:15, 09:00 and 11:00), particularly during the knock-out stages, which seemed to drive some spikes in mobile data usage. EE claims fans opted to watch on their Smartphones and Tablets in bed, as well as while out and about (e.g. travelling to work).

NOTE: We suspect that those watching matches in bed were probably connected to home WiFi and fixed broadband, rather than 4G etc.

Overall England’s early morning weekend win over New Zealand drove the largest relative spike in mobile traffic of the knockout rounds – up more than 20% on normal traffic levels. By comparison Wales’ highest data spike came via their Friday morning bronze final match against New Zealand, rather than their arguably more important semi-final against South Africa (perhaps because it was played on a Friday morning).

It’s noted that those who were watching on mobile often switched off at half time in order to natter on social media (particularly during England v South Africa). Facebook and Instagram topped the charts for traffic uplift, before viewers headed back to ITV Player and Sky Go.

ee_rugby_world_cup_2019_traffic

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer Division, said: “The early morning kick-offs have meant that mobile viewing has been a huge part of this year’s Rugby World Cup, with fans turning to their smartphones and tablets to make sure they’re not missing out on the action. We invest in the EE network so our customers can stay connected to the things that matter most and never miss a moment, wherever they are.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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