Monday 12 July 2021: England fans watching the Three Lions throughout the Euros have resulted in huge spikes in O2 mobile data consumption over the past month, however the final failed to beat the current record of the all-England Champions League final in May between Manchester City and Chelsea – the data suggesting that shocked fans suffered in silence after the heart-breaking defeat.
England’s iconic last 16 clash with Germany took out second place, with huge traffic data levels but interestingly a 30% drop in voice calls on the O2 mobile network as fans were glued to their TV screens. Third place on the all-time list was England’s semi-final win over Denmark.
In contrast, Virgin Media saw a dip in broadband usage during games as fans focused on the live action. Its broadband network saw significantly lower levels of internet usage during England’s matches, with the biggest drop coming during the final, with customers downloading 28% less traffic compared to the previous week as the nation switched off devices and focused on the football. However, there was a 13% upstream surge during the half time break and during extra time as people rushed to share the experience with friends and family.
Euro 2020 has proved a huge hit on Virgin Media’s TV platform with matches and highlight shows dominating the top 10 most popular broadcast moments of 2021. As expected, all seven of England’s matches have been some of the most watched moments on Virgin TV.
Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2, said:
“Euro 2020 truly captured the nation’s hearts and minds and our digital habits throughout the tournament reflect that. While we saw a huge surge in O2 mobile usage and England matches were watched by millions on Virgin TV, broadband traffic dipped as fans logged off to focus on the football. In one way or another, our products and services have given England fans the connectivity they needed to feel closer to the action.”
Virgin Media O2 also helped to mitigate capacity issues around the huge demand on its mobile network at Wembley stadium, as 60,000 fans packed the venue and many more thousands lined the surrounding streets. A dedicated temporary radio site was installed to boost capacity and support the existing network infrastructure, enabling fans to check in using their NHS app and share their experiences on social media.