This year’s World Cup was full of inspiring Cinderella stories and jaw-dropping upsets. But of all the players making a dramatic and surprising impact this year, the one with the most long-term impact may very well be mobile.


World Cup 2018 on mobile

The Russia games are the latest – and greatest – major spectator event to show that device-driven viewing is on the rise. Earlier this year we saw increases in mobile-viewing during major events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics. But the World Cup usage stats make it clear that this trend is here to stay.


Record breaking live-streams

We know there's a massive appetite for live-streamed sports, and the usage data backs that up. T-Mobile’s network saw unprecedented spikes in streaming traffic on match days:

  • On July 11, when Croatia squeezed out England in extra time during the semi-finals, the spike was 130% above normal.
  • When Croatia upset Argentina 0-3 on June 21, traffic was up 150% over normal usage.
  • The six goals made when France bested Croatia during last Sunday's final placed the game in the record books -- it was the highest-scoring championship match since England’s 4-2 win over West Germany in 1966. That match delivered a traffic spike of 110%.


Days with multiple matches saw similar or even higher spikes. On June 27, when there were simultaneous games (South Korea vs. Germany and Mexico vs. Sweden), T-Mobile saw a staggering 180% boost over normal activity and measured a record-setting 1.1 Tbps of data traffic.


“This is exactly why we built a network with this level of capacity – the world is rapidly moving towards mobile,” said T-Mobile CTO and native Englishman Neville Ray, whose excitement may have been briefly dampened when his team was sent home before the finals. (Better luck in 2022, Three Lions!) Ultimately, T-Mobile saw huge traffic spikes almost every day of the World Cup -- check out some particularly noteworthy matches below.



More data about data

If you're interested in the way mobile viewing trends are moving, visit our Newsroom for more details about World Cup live-stream stats. We've charted usage during another notable sporting event, too -- take a look at some interesting network usage stats from this year's Superbowl! Whether you're live-streaming during a sporting event, posting to social during a big game, or sending a victory shout to a group chat -- we're rooting for you!