Britons turn to mobiles, tablets in high-tech Games

Mon Aug 6, 2012 4:00pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

LONDON (Reuters) - Britons are making the most of technology at the London Games, turning to mobiles, tablets and computers to ensure they don't miss a minute of the "Twitter Olympics" - or the chance to share it with their friends.

Traffic for the BBC's iPlayer, which is streaming live coverage, jumped 30 percent when Jamaican Usain Bolt won the 100-metre final on Sunday evening, according to BT, the official communications partner of the Olympics and Britain's biggest broadband provider.

Andy Murray's defeat of Roger Federer in the men's tennis final increased Internet traffic by 25 percent compared to a normal Sunday afternoon, BT said.

The BBC said there were 820,000 requests to view the Murray-Federer final online, and its top video clip - of pundits and commentators reacting to Briton Mo Farah's win in the 10,000 meters on Saturday night - was requested by 329,000 people.

Mobile phone operators have also seen a spike in data traffic since the Olympics began thanks to users watching events on their phones, accessing the Internet to check results and updating social networking sites.

Vodafone said the moment that Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins took gold for Britain in the Olympic cycling time trial broke a record for the amount of data carried over its network per second.

"We saw a huge surge in data traffic throughout the race, peaking at the moment when Wiggins crossed the finish line," a spokeswoman said on Monday.

She said it beat data flow records set for the Royal Wedding and New Year's Eve 2011.

Since the opening ceremony, data usage in the Olympic Park has made up 8 percent of London's total usage, she said. Almost one in 10 calls made within the M25 motorway that circles London were to or from the Park. More than five million spectators have attended events at Olympic venues across London so far.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Jason Neely)

A volunteer takes a photograph of the Olympic rings at the Athletes' Village at the Olympic Park in London, July 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jae C. Hong/Pool