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College Football's Big Game Was a Huge Day for Mobile Data

Spectators sent and received the equivalent of 18 million social media posts with photos during the game.


Monday’s game between Ohio State and Oregon was one for the record books, in more ways than one.

As Ohio State captured the inaugural playoff championship on the field, fans made records of their own, sending and receiving more than six terabytes of data over Wi-Fi and AT&T’s cellular network. Nearly five terabytes travelled over the stadium Wi-Fi network with another 1.4 terabytes going over AT&T’s cellular equipment in the stadium.

That, AT&T says, is the equivalent of 18 million social media posts with photos. It is double the traffic from a typical Dallas Cowboys home game and more cellular antenna traffic than AT&T saw from the 2014 Super Bowl in New York. It’s also 20 percent more traffic than was used over the course of the two-day College Basketball Final Four at AT&T Stadium.

Plus, there were likely some Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile customers also sending data over their carrier’s cellular networks.

All that traffic explains why carriers like AT&T and Verizon are paying a fortune for new cellular spectrum and testing out more efficient technologies, like LTE Broadcast, which was also tested during Monday’s game. Though not an answer for all the fans looking to update their Facebook statuses, broadcasting over LTE allows multiple video streams to reach every device in the stadium without clogging up the traditional phone airwaves.

This article originally appeared on

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