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Spectators at this year’s Superbowl will not be able to stream video replays onto their smartphones. The stadium is blocking it to free up bandwidth for voice, photos and SMS.

Telstra may be trialling broadcast smartphone technology, but US authorities are still grappling with the problems it is intended to solve.

The US National Football League is blocking streaming at Superbowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey Monday morning (AEST). NFL.com and Fox Sports are both streaming video of the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, but they will be not be made available on the Wi-Fi network within the stadium.

The stop-start nature of American football has many fans using their mobile phone between plays.

US website Ars Technica published a short interview with NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle. She said the 82,500-seat stadium can handle up to 30,000 concurrent Internet users across mobile phone networls and Wi-Fi. “The plan is to prioritise upload speeds over download because fans generally spend a lot of time posting photos and statuses to social media.”

The NFL is providing a Super Bowl app to attendees with an event guide and ‘exclusive content’, but it won't include streaming video or replays.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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