A week ago, Republican supporters consumed Super Bowl level loads at the Republican National Convention (RNC) held in the city of Cleveland in Ohio. This week, the same thing is likely to happen in the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, where the Democratic National Convention will take place. Wireless carriers, however, are ready to handle all that mobile data.
Verizon Wireless revealed this week that its subscribers consumed an aggregate 7 terabytes of data on a daily basis during the Republican National Convention. That volume of data is about the same as the quantities consumed by Super Bowl fans at Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara in California, especially during the match between eventual winners the Denver Broncos and runners up the Carolina Panthers back in February early this year.
As for the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States, AT&T, it stated that the daily traffic on its network during the RNC (which lasted a total of four days) averaged around 250 percent of the quantities it handled during Game 6 of the NBA Championship Finals between the Golden State Warriors and champs the Cleveland Cavaliers. That game had used the same venue as the RNC.
Data usage spikes during major events are nothing new. Sports games and music festivals typically register high data usage because of the enormous volume of video streams and social media posts transmitted during those events. According to a spokesperson from Verizon Wireless, data usage at the previous DNC (back in 2012) was measured in megabytes or gigabytes. In this election year, data usage now reach terabyte levels.
This leaves major wireless carriers in the US no choice but to get ready. Verizon Wireless has boosted the fiber capacity of its mobile networks connecting to the Quicken Loans arena. AT&T tripled its 4G LTE coverage in Cleveland. Other mobile operators have also proceeded to building out their networks. Those efforts really paid off. Over 28.5 terabytes of data went through the Big Red’s network during the RNC, while 9.4 terabytes went through AT&T’s network. Sprint processed 8.5 terabytes, while T-Mobile revealed that the volume of data on its network rose by 50 percent.
For Philadelphia, Verizon Wireless has increased capacity at the Wells Fargo Center by approximately 550 percent, while AT&T has doubled its capacity at the same venue. As for Sprint, it says it will be looking to take advantage of new tech that will let it bond together more than one channel of its 2.5 MegaHertz wireless spectrum in order to facilitate faster download speeds on its 4G network and be able to handle heavier data quantities.