Dutch World Cup start results in 50% more data traffic on mobile network

The opening match of the Netherlands at the football World Cup was watched by a lot of people on their smartphone. At around 5 pm, when the Senegal–Netherlands match started, KPN registered approximately 50% more data traffic on its mobile 4G and 5G network. Presumably many Dutch fans were on their way home at that moment and watched the beginning of the match via the iTV app or a livestream, before watching the match at home with family or friends and seeing their team score in the 84th minute.

The volume of data traffic declined during the course of the match, but it was still around 30% more than on a normal day. KPN also registered a marked fall in the number of phone calls. Between 5 pm and 7 pm KPN handled substantially fewer phone calls than on a ”normal” day.

Big sporting events such as the matches of the Dutch national side and F1 races are virtually always reflected in KPN’s network. KPN is well prepared for that and believes that the trend towards watching football matches on phones or tablets, away from home, will continue. Last year during Euro 2020 KPN also registered more data traffic on its mobile network, with roughly 30% more data traffic during the Netherlands-Austria match on 17 June 2021.

According to Stichting KijkOnderzoek almost 4.3 million people watched the first World Cup match of the Dutch national side on TV. This means that it was one of the least watched opening matches ever played by the Dutch national side at a World Cup or Euro Championships.

State of the Network
In State of the Network, KPN regularly publishes information on trends and topical issues that are reflected in the volume of internet traffic on the network of the Netherlands. See also previous publications, on topics such as the impact of the F1 race in Zandvoort, the New Year celebrations, the impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns on working from home on the network.