[business report] Mobile telecommunications company MTN Group said on Wednesday that its customers accounted for approximately 590 million SMSs and 10 million MMSs sent in South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
It follows statistics from its rival Vodacom who said on Monday that approximately 600 million SMSs were sent from the start of the tournament until the semi-final stage.
In some cases, the traffic on a single base station increased by more than 500 percent compared to just prior to the start of the tournament, it said.
MTN, the first African global sponsor of the World Cup tournament said its network had carried approximately one terabyte of traffic in locations like stadia, airports, and fan parks throughout the sporting showcase.
"Throughout the month-long festival of football, we have been able to manage the entire network in-house with specially developed MTN network management systems. This has seen us make on-the-fly network adjustments based on user behaviour and traffic patterns to ensure the highest possible service levels to our discerning customers and international visitors," said Sameer Dave, chief technology officer at MTN South Africa.
The MTN network also catered for over 250 000 international roaming customers during the event.
"Such has been the success of the MTN network that we have already been approached by several international operators to provide guidance for telecommunication operations at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I can proudly state that we provided championship class quality across all products and services," Dave said.
Cell C, South Africa's third operator said: "We have seen a threefold increase in inbound roaming customers and call volumes before and after the games have been very high."
On Monday Vodacom announced a 40 percent increase in SMS traffic from its regulator network traffic from the start of the FIFA World Cup tournament until the semi-finals.
"Our investment plan started more than two years ago and was crucial to making sure that we would be able to deal with the demands put on the network," said Andries Delport, executive director: network and information technology.
"Once the fans started arriving, in addition to our normal 24/7 monitoring of the network, a dedicated Network Operations Centre was set up and manned from 08.00am to 01.00am on match days," Delport said.
More than 15 000 man-hours were dedicated to operational support during the event, the group said.
Mobile operators note huge spike in SMSs during World Cup