Verizon Customers at Super Bowl XLIX Rack Up More than 25 Million Wireless Data Connections

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As the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks faced off at Super Bowl XLIX, Verizon customers at the stadium racked up more than 25 million wireless connections – nearly 25,000 per minute.  

The tweets, texts, status updates and more sent by Verizon customers immediately before, during and after the game in Glendale added up to 4.1 terabytes of data, compared to 1.9 terabytes during the 2014 Super Bowl. That number represents 3.67 billion social media posts, 10 million emails, 1.9 million web pages accessed and more than 122,000 videos shared.

The Patriots and Seahawks may have spent the past two weeks preparing for the big game, but Verizon engineers spent nearly two years preparing and making network enhancements to keep Phoenix fans and visitors connected.

First, they quadrupled the 4G LTE data capacity at the stadium and at major venues throughout metro Phoenix. They built cell sites, small cell systems, indoor and outdoor Distributed Antenna Systems and planned deployment of mobile cell sites.  They introduced XLTE technology to add even more 4G LTE bandwidth. 

But that’s only part of the story.

Throughout the season’s Arizona Cardinals home games in the stadium, the Verizon team ran drills to ensure the wireless network would be ready for fans on Super Bowl Sunday. They even formed a 12-person network performance test team to do the “Can you hear me / text me / tweet me now?” network monitoring and management in the stadium during the big game.

While referees monitored plays from the sidelines, Verizon network engineers kept a close eye on network performance from inside the stadium and from a nearby command center to make sure customers stayed connected. The biggest spikes in network activity happened when  the Patriots scored in the first quarter, causing a 41 percent data surge. Data usage hit a game-day high with a 60 percent increase during the big halftime show.

Network enhancements weren’t limited just to the stadium. 

In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Phoenix hosted an estimated one million combined visitors to the Pro Bowl, the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament, and Verizon Super Bowl Central (including the Verizon Wireless Power House). That meant lots of customers at more than 30 locations expected Verizon reliability throughout their visit. The Verizon team had prepared long in advance by building new permanent capacity throughout the area – capacity that won’t roll out of town when the last of our 13 COWs (cells on wheels) pulls out.

The football season may be over, but preparations have been underway for more than a year for San Francisco’s Super Bowl 50 at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium. Planning has even started for Super Bowl LI in Houston’s Reliant Stadium. Stay tuned for what Verizon Wireless has in store.

Take a look at the Super Bowl by the numbers – check out the following infographic.  Were you at the game?  Tell us about your experience @VZWNews.

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