Big AT&T DAS weekend in Miami: 2.7 TB of traffic for two mid-November games

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 2.21.51 PMWe’re a couple weeks behind in catching up here, but it’s worth backtracking to look at a huge weekend of DAS traffic at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium that took place earlier this month. According to DAS traffic figures from AT&T, the two games held at Sun Life on Nov. 13 (Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills) and Nov. 15 (Florida State vs. Miami) generated a total of 2.735 terabytes of traffic on the AT&T-specific cellular DAS in the stadium — a pretty high mark for cellular-only traffic.

Since we know there’s also a high-capacity Wi-Fi network at Sun Life, it’s interesting to wonder how much total traffic there was for the two events. While we wait to see if the fine folks who run the stadium network will eventually provide us with the Wi-Fi details, we can drill down a bit more into the DAS numbers that AT&T is seeing across the largest stadiums this fall.

The two games in Miami that weekend were the tops for DAS traffic in both college and pro for AT&T networks, which according to AT&T is the first time one town has held the DAS crown for both spots. The FSU-Miami game, where the Hurricanes kept it close to the end, was the biggest single DAS traffic event of that weekend, college or pro, with 1,802 GB of data crossing the AT&T DAS network. What’s kind of stunning is to remember that these stats are for AT&T customer traffic only; full game traffic from the 76,530 in attendance at the FSU-Miami game was likely much higher but alas — we get no such comparable stats from other cellular providers.

Other big games between highly ranked teams also scored high in AT&T’s DAS rankings that particular weekend — Alabama’s home win over then No. 1 Mississippi State was second on the list with 849 GB of DAS traffic, while Georgia’s win over visiting Auburn that Saturday recorded 676 GB of DAS traffic.

On the pro side, the second-highest AT&T DAS traffic came interestingly from San Diego, where the Chargers eked out a 13-6 win over the Raiders. We’re wondering if the DAS mark from San Diego — 730 GB, which trailed only Miami’s Thursday night mark of 933 GB in its win over Buffalo — was higher because Qualcomm Stadium still doesn’t have Wi-Fi. And again, remember that traffic at some other stadiums might have been higher — these numbers reflect only AT&T stats from venues where AT&T has an operating DAS.

Stay tuned as the football seasons come to their conclusions — with any luck we’ll get some more DAS and Wi-Fi stats to get a more complete picture of stadium traffic this season, which — surprise! — seems to be continually growing. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile… lend us your stats!

Planning a DAS deployment? Check out these AT&T stadium stats from football opening weekend

There’s lots of shared belief out there that fans want to use mobile devices while they are attending sporting events. What we like even more here at Mobile Sports Report are hard numbers that tell us just how much fans are using mobile devices while they are in stadiums and arenas. Though sometimes hard to get, such statistics are great signposts for those who are planning to build their own stadium networks sometime soon, because it gives them a target to shoot for.

Courtesy of our friends over at AT&T, here are some traffic statistics gleaned from AT&T’s distributed antenna system (DAS) deployments in major professional and college football stadiums during last weekend’s games. According to AT&T, the average amount of cellular data used at a pro venue home opener in 2014 was 361 gigabytes, up 59 percent from season-opening games last year. The stats, remember, are only from AT&T DAS networks at the 16 NFL stadiums where AT&T has a DAS network presence.

The top stadium in terms of AT&T DAS traffic was Miami’s Sun Life Stadium with 1,035 GB (or 1.035 TB), followed by AT&T Stadium in Dallas with 889 GB and Atlanta’s Georgia Dome with 696 GB. It will be interesting to see whether or not any of those totals are surpassed by the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, which hosts its first regular-season home game this Sunday.

On the collegiate side, the average opening-day traffic number was 288 GB, which is huge compared to the 2013 season average of 186 GB per game. The stats are an average taken from 25 Division 1 schools where AT&T has a DAS presence. And in case you were wondering where college football is king, the stats for schools in the South was an average of 343 GB, with the rest of the country checking in at 186 GB. The top three schools in terms of home-opener DAS traffic were Oklahoma with 866 GB, Georgia with 688, and the new stadium at Baylor with 686 GB.

More AT&T DAS stats follow. Remember, this is just a fraction of the actual traffic since many of these venues also have other carriers on DAS networks, as well as Wi-Fi networks in place. Other carriers and stadiums — send us your stats!

AT&T STADIUM DAS STATS

Year-over-Year Professional Mobile Data Increase

o 2014 home opener – 361GB average per venue

o 2013 season average – 227GB average per venue

· 2013 season average to 2014 season opener is a year-over-year increase of more than 59 percent

· 2013 season opener to 2014 season opener is a year-over-year increase of more than 58 percent

Opening Weekend Mobile Data Usage Professional vs. Collegiate

o 2014 professional season opener – 361GB average per venue

o 2014 collegiate season opener – 288GB average per venue

Top 5 Opening Weekend Professional Venues by Total Mobile Data

o Miami, FL – 1035GB

· Equivalent to more than 2.9 million social media post with photos

· Peak hour – 1-2pm ET – 146GB

o Dallas, TX – 889GB

· Equivalent to more than 2.5 million social media post with photos

· Peak hour – 2-3pm CT – 158GB

o Atlanta, GA – 696GB

· Equivalent to nearly 2 million social media post with photos

· Peak hour – 2-3pm ET – 159GB

o Chicago, IL – 452GB

· Equivalent to nearly 1.3 million social media post with photos

· Peak hour – 1-2pm CT – 107GB

o Pittsburgh, PA – 385GB

· Equivalent to more than 1.1 million social media post with photos

· Peak hour – 2-3pm ET – 83GB

Caveats:

· All figures include only data traffic seen on AT&T’s venue-specific mobile network.

· All data metrics come from only venues with a DAS where AT&T’s mobile network is on-air. These metrics are not comprehensive of every game played during the opening weekend for professional or college football.

· This data is compiled from 16 professional football stadiums and 25 division one college football stadiums that had opening week home games where AT&T is on-air on a DAS.

· All 2013 season average data is compiled from only venues with a DAS where AT&T’s mobile network was on-air and games where data was tracked and available.

ADDITIONAL AT&T COLLEGIATE DAS STATS

Regional Breakdown by Mobile Data Usage

o South – 343GB average per venue

o Rest of the US – 186GB average per venue

· Year-over-Year Mobile Data Increase

o 2014 home opener – 288GB average per venue

o 2013 season average – 155GB average per venue

· Top 5 Opening Weekend College Venues by Total Mobile Data

· Norman, OK – 866GB

o Equivalent to more than 2.4 million social media post with photos

· Athens, GA – 688GB

o Equivalent to more than 1.9 million social media post with photos

· Waco, TX – 686GB

o Equivalent to more than 1.9 million social media post with photos

· Auburn, AL – 506GB

o Equivalent to more than 1.4 million social media post with photos

· Los Angeles, CA – 469GB

o Equivalent to more than 1.3 million social media post with photos

Caveats:

· All figures include only data traffic seen on AT&T’s venue-specific mobile network.

· All data metrics come from only venues with a DAS where AT&T’s mobile network is on-air. These metrics are not comprehensive of every game played during the opening weekend for college football.

· This data is compiled from 25 division one college football stadiums that had opening week home games where AT&T is on-air on a DAS.

· All 2013 season average data is compiled from only venues with a DAS where AT&T’s mobile network was on-air and games where data was tracked and available.

· The “South” region is based off how it is qualified by the U.S. Census. It includes the following states: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

AT&T turns on Wi-Fi at Miami Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium

We knew that AT&T had put in a new DAS at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium earlier this year, so we were a bit surprised when we saw the Dolphins announce a new Wi-Fi network for their season opener a couple Sundays ago. A quick phone chat with Chad Townes, VP of AT&T’s antenna solutions group, set us straight: Turns out that AT&T had installed a Wi-Fi network alongside the DAS, but hadn’t planned to turn it up until the NFL season started.

For those of us who were lucky enough to be at the SEAT Conference in August, however, the questions couldn’t stop there. At SEAT, Townes made one of the bolder statements of the gathering, proclaiming that AT&T wasn’t going to fund stadium Wi-Fi developments anymore. So why was AT&T building Wi-Fi at Sun Life?

The Wi-Fi at Sun Life, Townes said, was built via a model AT&T was comfortable with — mainly, it was a financial model where the team and venue participated in the deployment costs. “Our position on Wi-Fi remains clear,” Townes said — mainly, that AT&T isn’t going to fully fund a network that it doesn’t reap benefits from. Since stadium Wi-Fi is or will be mainly used for high-bandwidth apps like video replays, it will generate wireless traffic that “doesn’t leave the stadium,” Townes said. AT&T is more interested in building and paying for DAS, or distributed antenna systems, which bring better cellular connectivity for fans at stadiums.

Traffic that leaves the stadium, to connect fans to the outside Internet, is of interest to AT&T since it is something the company can make money on, by providing the service to customers. OK, but then what about the recent deal AT&T signed with the Pac-12, which called for DAS builds in all conference stadiums, but may also call for AT&T to build… stadium Wi-Fi networks?

Again, it’s all about the economics, which in the Pac-12 case involved a big content carriage deal between the conference and AT&T’s home Internet and video service, U-verse. From what we’ve heard and read the deal involves a lot of stadium-intensive content agreements, so to make it all run right, AT&T wants to build the networks itself. In the case of that deal, Townes said networks would be built to “support the value of our brand” in those stadiums. So the bottom line is — AT&T isn’t going to simply pay for a Wi-Fi network in your stadium. Unless there’s more to the deal than that.