Games prompt 80 per cent surge in mobile voice and data usage


Networks insist they have coped following multimillion-pound upgrade investments, despite spikes in demand at Olympic venues

Network operators claim to have coped well after experiencing rises of up to 80 per cent in voice and data services at Olympic venues during the first week of the London 2012 Games.

Everything Everywhere, Three, O2, and Vodafone all reported a good service during the events as a result of multimillion-pound upgrade investments to cope with demand.

By Monday (August 6), Everything Everywhere said it had experienced a 70 to 80 per cent rise at venues and tourist hotspots, as well as a 10 per cent increase across the rest of the UK as customers accessed 3G services.

The operator also saw a fivefold increase in the number of calls made during the opening weekend in the Greenwich area, with 10 times more data consumed than on a normal weekend.

A spokesman for Everything Everywhere said: “We’ve been preparing for London 2012 since before Orange and T-Mobile merged to become Everything Everywhere, investing millions of pounds to ensure a good experience for both British and international visitors to the Olympics.

“We’ve also increased measures to maintain service and operational stability during the games. Additional field maintenance resource in the areas of the country most affected are in place, alongside dedicated incident managers to ensure a very rapid response time to any service-affecting incidents.”

Three said: “We planned and prepared for a significant increase in traffic on our network around the Olympic venues, and we are pleased to say that our network is performing well.”

Vodafone also reported a sharp increase in data use across the UK, with a 20 per cent rise in the number of its customers accessing Facebook during the opening ceremony and 300,000 following events live on Twitter.

The network, which usually processes 60 terabytes of data per day, said this rose by 10 per cent during Bradley Wiggins’s cycling gold and five per cent during the opening ceremony.

Vodafone said its network had coped well, due partly to its £1.5 million daily investment in the network during the first half of the year and also from working with colleagues around the world with recent experience of large sporting events, including the 2010 football world cup.

O2 reported no problems, again citing network investment.