Telecom, Vodafone, 2degrees report huge spikes in mobile data traffic during America's Cup


Chris Keall

Chris Quin
Telecom's traffic during Monday's races ...
... and the previous Monday for comparison

You might have seen stories about the huge audiences the America's Cup is generating on free-to-air TV.

It seems a lot of people are also follow the action on their mobiles, too.

Phone companies say they're seeing big spikes in mobile data traffic during races.

Telecom says that as Team New Zealand set off in the first race shortly after 8am, data consumption rose to almost double the normal level for that time of day – and spiked again an hour or so later when the second race began.

“People are live streaming the race over their mobiles, either using their browser and news websites or via the America’s Cup app,” Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin says.

“We now have around 60% of our 1.8 million mobile customers using smartphones and once you get to that sort of tipping point you start to see a real change in behaviours. This spike shows how people are accessing information differently as they now increasingly have the tools - like apps and mobile optimised sites - to do so.

“People are also communicating about the race over social media as they watch it – tweeting their followers at key moments and posting on Facebook about the need for therapy to cope with the stress of close races.  We’re seeing more and more of this when it comes to big live events."

2degrees is seeing a bump, too.

"We have certainly seen American’s Cup fever on our network. too, with data usage increasing dramatically on race days," spokeswoman Charlene White tells NBR ONLINE.

"In the last week alone, data usage on race mornings has increased by over 40% with the 9:15am race attracting the most interest. The massive peaks we are seeing during the races are typically more than our average peak times in the evening."

Weighting the stats to even out population differences, Aucklanders are hitting their mobiles the most, Ms White says. 

Vodafone's Brad Pogson tells NBR, "During Monday’s race we noticed a huge spike in data traffic on our network compared to Tuesday – 100% more. Over two hours the volume was 2.29 terabytes [2.4 milion megabytes] of data, the equivalent of over 2000 movie downloads."

Now comes the hangover as people check they're tracking against their monthly mobile data cap.

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1 Comment & Question

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Well when TVNZ blocks NZers from viewing the live stream on youtube and leave TVNZ OnDemand (which struggled under load), the only alternative is to use the app to keep abreast of the action

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