Prior to, and during the last summer games in Rio, Ericsson worked to prepare the networks across all of the sporting venues and related sites. To understand how these efforts paid off in terms of end-user experiences, Ericsson surveyed 800 spectators who used their smartphones during events at the games. Those responses were compared to 800 attendees at the 2014 international football tournament matches across Brazil.
Ericsson’s report, “Aiming Higher”, illustrates how end-user expectations on network performance are taken to a higher level when attending major events with large crowds sharing their experience live and simultaneously. According to the report, 3 out of 4 spectators used social networks during the 2016 summer games in Rio.
From consumer research, Ericsson found that 62 percent of respondents said that they had a good experience during the whole period of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. A higher percentage of foreigners (72 percent) reported having a good experience compared to the locals (59 percent). There is no doubt about the fact that audiences enjoyed a much better network experience during the 2016 Rio games than at the 2014 Football Tournament, which has had an impact on their overall perception of the event.
The concerted efforts made by the operators and Ericsson enabled a higher consumption of mobile data compared to London 2012 (4 times) and Football Tournament 2014 (10 times). In comparison to the 2014 Football Tournament, there was a shift from instant messaging to social networking, from medium data activities to heavy data activities like sharing videos, with people wanting to convey the complete experience and the feel of the event via video to their friends and family. The availability of high-speed networks also made it possible for people to perform a number of digital activities simultaneously.
According to the report, during the Rio games, consumers spent more than 2 hours a day watching TV or video clips related to the event on smartphones while outdoors on average. In fact, network traffic increased by 72 percent compared to a normal day in Rio and the LTE data traffic volume increased from 34 percent to 45 percent of the total traffic.
The report also revealed that compared to the 2014 Football Tournament in Brazil, there was a 20 percent fall in the number of people making voice calls while there was a drop of 28 percent for sending text messages. Moreover, an average of 80 photos were shared per day, per person at the event, which translates to 486 million photos sent and received during the games and approximately 19,000 hours of videos were streamed.
“Consumers at large events have high expectations on networks to stream and share best experiences via their smartphones. Our report, ‘Aiming Higher’, illustrates how Ericsson worked with operators across the globe to improve network performance in order to create superior experiences for spectators of large events such as Rio 2016,” said Rafiah Ibrahim, President and Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa.