In World Cup Football 2018 tournament in Russia video streaming dominated, leading to traffic soaring by 2.5 times compared to an average day on the MTS network.
Fans posted more content on social networks than in 2014 when social networking generated 90 percent of traffic. At matches in 2018, MTS registered a 30 percent increase in traffic from social platforms.
For the World Cup, MTS and Ericsson deployed Europe’s largest roll out of Massive MIMO at several stadiums and locations at the global football tournament in Russia. Measurements made during the tournament show Ericsson Massive MIMO base stations on the MTS network enabled up to five-fold increases in data throughput in uplink, allowing fans to broadcast good quality video from smartphones during matches. In addition, data downloading speed and spectrum efficiency doubled. Network capacity went up more than four-fold.
There has been a noticeable shift from photo to video between the last two tournaments. The 2014 competition was a selfie event whereas 2018 was a video streaming event.
Prior to the competition, MTS deployed Massive MIMO with Ericsson Radio System AIR 6468. The technology was introduced in the LTE-TDD 2600 MHz band (B38) at more than 40 sites in seven out of the 11 tournament cities, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Niznny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara. This increased network capacity around the stadiums, at railway stations, at airports, in fan zones, and recreation areas.
In addition, MTS built a telecommunications infrastructure in Luzhniki in Moscow and Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, and gave other telecom operators access. MTS also carried out large-scale works aimed to build and expand the capacity of the network at all other stadiums where matches were held.
Andrei Ushatsky, Vice President – Technology and IT, MTS said, “The extensive preparation of our network and the introduction of Ericsson’s 5G solutions for the football tournament have clearly paid off, allowing MTS to successfully handle the overload and provide high-quality communication services to tens of thousands of our subscribers. High-speed mobile internet makes football fans more engaged as they can instantly share the most spectacular and exciting moments with others.”
Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President, Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson said, “5G’s ultra-high speed, massive capacity and low latency will deliver the fan experiences that will be expected in future such as 4K HDR or even 8K streaming, AR & VR viewing, and live and immersive synchronized gaming. Fans will be able to track favourite athletes in real time via wearables on data such as physical conditions, statistics of their success and failures from game to game, and even watch a match though the players’ eyes.”