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.