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According to multiple reports, the 2010 World Cup will get more online viewership than any major sporting event yet. More than ever, fans in the US and around the world will be tuning in over the next four weeks on wireless mobile devices to access real-time updates anytime, anywhere while converging on social media sites to connect and share experiences.
With the profusion of mobile devices, web applications and social media tools, this may be the best use case to evaluate how mobile operators and their networks are positioned to manage the deluge of traffic and content over an extended period of time.
Will the World Cup, arguably the world’s most popular sporting event, create the perfect storm to galvanize the use of the mobile Internet in yet another mainstream usage - further tipping the scale towards the mobile convergence and the growth in mobile data traffic that many (including Cisco) have been predicting?
In a recent AP article John Kosner, senior vice president and general manager of ESPN Digital Media acknowledged that those with live TV on their mobile phones are still a "relatively small audience," but hinted that the World Cup could be a "blueprint for what's coming."
Mobile carriers in the US and abroad will need to ensure that their networks can manage the traffic and congestion that comes from moving huge amounts of data and video across multiple networks. Over the next four weeks teams will be tested, national pride will swell, hearts will be broken and fans will rejoice - but the true test is whether mobile carriers’ networks have the capacity to make this experience worthwhile and take this game to the next generation of the mobile Internet.