AT&T: Super Bowl data usage up 28% over 2020

Carrier says that FirstNet users at the game used twice as much data as fans, on average

AT&T says its customers set a new usage record of 13 TB of data over LTE and 5G before and during the Super Bowl, an increase of 28% compared to the game in 2020.

More than 3 TB of data traversed AT&T’s “5G+” network.

The pre-game period and first quarter racked up the heaviest data usage, according to AT&T, followed by the fourth quarter (see graphic below). That usage pattern differs from what Verizon observed, which was particularly heavy usage during kick-off and the halftime show.

AT&T said that more than 112,000 voice calls were completed in and around the stadium as well.

AT&T also detailed the comparative data use by FirstNet customers during the game, reporting that they conducted more than 320,000 data sessions and about 2,300 voice calls. FirstNet first responders used more than two times the amount of data that a typical fan did, AT&T said.

In preparation for the heavy data and voice usage during the Super Bowl, AT&T said that its network teams added 10x the capacity compared to 2020’s game, including nearly 260 5G nodes.

It also deployed half a dozen cells-on-wheels around the stadium and surrounds to handle commerical traffic, as well as five satellite cells on light trucks specifically to bolster FirstNet capacity for the game.

Image from AT&T.

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