SA cellcos report World Cup boom

13 Jul 2010

With the World Cup done and dusted for another four years, South African mobile operators have reported booming traffic volumes during the 2010 tournament. Vodacom enjoyed a 40% increase in SMS traffic over the month, with 600 million text messages sent. Andries Delport, Vodacom’s executive director of network and information technology, claimed: ‘In some cases, the traffic on a single base station increased by more than 500% compared to just prior to the start of the tournament’. Delport admitted that Vodacom committed more than 15,000 man-hours to operational support, in order to keep the company’s network running efficiently, including a dedicated network operations centre.

Elsewhere, Cell C saw its traffic boosted to three times the normal levels on in-bound roaming calls. Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt announced that traffic levels were 70% higher than for the same period last year, pinpointing the periods before and after the matches as particularly busy. Meanwhile, Cell C’s SMS traffic increased by more than 15% during the tournament. MTN – Africa’s first ever global World Cup sponsor – has not been able to provide any figures as of yet, although it is expecting to show a similar increase to its rivals. During the tournament, MTN sold 600,000 specialised tourist SIM cards, although it has not yet confirmed how many of these SIM cards were activated.

South Africa, Cell C, Vodacom South Africa