Monday, 01 October 2018 16:01

AFL and NRL Grand Final stadium spectators generated combined 5.7TB of data, 21% more than 2017

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Fans attending the AFL Grand Final and NRL Grand Final on the weekend generated a combined 5.7 terabytes of data on the Telstra Mobile Network, a whopping 21% more than last year.

Telstra's mobile network is certainly up to scratch when looking at the results of more spectators at both stadiums sharing images and video on their social channels than ever before.

Australia's 800-pound telcorilla tells us that "spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground watching the AFL Grand Final on Saturday, generated 3.8 terabytes of traffic on the Telstra Mobile Network, which is an increase of more than 22% compared to last year’s AFL Grand Final".

That’s the equivalent of more than 1200 hours of high definition video streaming!

Telstra then provided more stats to amaze, and all it was all done without a skerrick of 5G, given that 5G smartphones and tablets aren't available to the public yet.

We're told that "it all started before the first bounce with 1952GB of data generated on Telstra’s Mobile Network between 8am AEST and 2.30pm AEST, with AFL fans lapping up the pre-game entertainment".

Of course, the stats don't stop there, with Telstra adding:

  • During the half-time break, a further 256GB of data was generated by fans dissecting the action from the first half of the game.
  • As the final siren sounded, 561GB of data was generated by the fans who stayed to see the West Coast Eagles celebrate with the Premiership Cup.
  • Apart from the Telstra mobile traffic at the MCG, it seems the Grand Final was the reason for an increase in the amount of text messages sent across Telstra’s entire mobile network on Saturday afternoon. Between 2pm AEST and 6pm AEST, around 7% more text messages and 9% more MMS were sent across Telstra’s Mobile Network, compared to the same time the week before.

So, what about the NRL stats?

Glad you asked, because Telstra has provided answers.

Here we learn that at the NRL Grand Final at the ANZ Stadium on Sunday evening, "attendees generated 1.9 terabytes of traffic on the Telstra Mobile Network, which is an increase of around 19% compared to last year’s NRL Grand Final. That’s the equivalent of more than 600 hours of high definition video streaming".

More stats are as follows: 

  • Prior to kick-off between 3pm AEST and 7.30pm AEST, 890GB of data was generated on Telstra’s Mobile Network by attendees.
  • At half-time, a further 150GB of data was generated by fans reviewing the action from the first 40 minutes of the game.
  • Once the final siren sounded, 175GB of data was generated by the fans who stayed to see Sydney Roosters celebrate with the Premiership trophy.
  • Apart from the Telstra mobile traffic at ANZ Stadium, it seems the Grand Final was the reason for an increase in the amount of text messages sent across Telstra’s entire mobile network on Sunday night. Between 5pm AEST and 10pm AEST, around 7% more text messages and 8% more MMS were sent across Telstra’s Mobile Network, compared to the same time the week before.

It should come as no surprise to see Telstra end its announcement by proudly boasting and reminding us that it has "Australia’s largest mobile network, greater reliability and faster speeds in more places", reaches "99.5% of the population and covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres of the Australian landmass, including hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of regional and rural Australia not served by any other carrier".

No word yet from Optus or Vodafone's networks fared during the AFL and NRL Grand Finals, but it certainly would be interesting to find out, with ultimately our choice of carriers and MVNOs serving and competing as never before.

Sure, our fixed NBN is a mish-mash of Malcolm's misaligned mixed messaging and technologies, but with 5G around the corner, unlimited mobile data plans an actual reality in Australia at long last (albeit kicked off by the Optus-onwed vividwireless) and Telstra's existing 4G network able to handle the crush of traffic, our future is already wireless even if they ripped up every single bit of copper to replace it with fibre now that former Prime NsustollTurnbull is gone.

So, a great result from Telstra, great for the fans, and great for each football code, with our 5G future still truly yet to come.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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