WASHINGTON, July 26, 2010 – Americans were among the largest group of people visiting South Africa during the World Cup soccer match played in June, according to mobile phone data from Aicent.
More than 60 percent of Aicent’s data traffic came from customers of GSM (global system for mobile) operators in the United States, said Aicent, a provider of data network, messaging and roaming services for mobile operators.
On days when the U.S. team played, the GSM operators experienced their largest spieks in traffic, with traffic leaving South Africa far and away exceeding traffic coming to South Africa by a ratio exceeding 4:1.
Soccer fans in South Africa relied on their mobile phones to share pictures, videos, live game updates and other messages with friends back home. According to Mayan Mathen, CTO of Dimension Data, during the World Cup, South Africa became one of the highest "tweet" sources in the world, referring to the Twitter social network. World Cup fans in South Africa averaged 750 tweets per second, with some 3,500 going out every second during World Cup matches.
The day with the highest volume of data traffic was Wednesday, June 23, the day that Nigeria and South Korea played to a tie, Argentina defeated Greece, England defeated Slovenia, and the United States defeated Algeria. The day with the next highest volume was Tuesday, June 15, when three matches between Italy and Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia, and Cote d’Ivoire and Portugal all ended in ties.