Summer Games Spur Global Data Deluge

Karl Strohmeyer
Summer Games Spur Global Data Deluge


The Summer Games open in Rio de Janeiro today, just two years after Rio hosted the World Cup. It’s an awesome time in a country that’s growing accustomed to big events. But the digital demands that come with these events aren’t something organizers can just sit back and rely on prior experience to handle. Because each time, they grow significantly. Consider:

  • Data traffic and Internet activity are estimated to be four times greater in Rio than in the 2012 London games.
  • Mobile data traffic is expected to be 50% greater at the Rio games than the 2012 London games.
  • NBC plans to stream 4,500 hours of live video from the games this year, compared to the 3,500 hours it streamed in the London games in 2012.
  • The organizers of the Rio games expect 85% of the audience to be watching on mobile devices.
  • 6 million messages were sent on Twitter during just one World Cup match (Brazil-Germany), and the Olympics has more events (306) and more countries involved (106 represented vs. 32).

In addition, these games mark the debut of virtual reality (VR) coverage, as NBC is offering 85 hours of VR programming to users of compatible Samsung smartphones. That is, of course, extremely cool. But the technology is still young, and it puts enormous demands on the digital networks trying to meet the high expectations of VR users.

In short, there is no doubt that companies in Brazil will be pushed and stressed in new ways by this data deluge. But those equipped to handle it will be in a superior position to take advantage of the opportunities these games can bring their way.

Getting Closer

The action in Brazil over the coming weeks won’t be confined to companies in Brazil. A mobile executive with Syniverse estimated that 80% of the data traffic from the games will travel to the U.S. The games will indeed be global, as data is transmitted to and from Brazil from all over. To succeed, network and content providers will need access to robust and instantaneous interconnection that can bring them anywhere – the kind that’s increasingly required of companies in all industries everywhere.

The key is to get closer.

Proximity to markets and partners is the only way to ensure the superior connectivity businesses will need to meet the heightened entertainment and communication demands of this year’s Summer Games. Close, direct and secure connections are low latency connections. They enable companies to collaborate with their customers, networks, clouds and other service providers cost-effectively with top performance. Direct interconnection also eliminates hops that can slow traffic and reduce security risks associated with moving data over public networks.

Bolstering Brazil’s Interconnection Capacity

In the deluge of data that will define the 2016 games, we’re excited to be in an excellent position to help companies all over the world meet the escalating requirement for interconnection. We’ve been in Brazil since 2011, and today, we run four data centers in Brazil, including two in Rio.

The viewer content that originates in Rio will be carried by most of the 1,400 network service providers that reside in our data centers to a global audience of billions of viewers. And it’s not just original video content that passes through our interconnection platform – it’s also the billions of Tweets, Facebook posts, text messages, phone calls, Skype conversations and more that creates connections between people, and which unites them all in the spirit of the event. That’s the power of a truly global data center and interconnection platform working on behalf of our customers.

So whatever opportunities a customer sees during these games, involving whatever partners and markets they need to get close to, we’ll be making it happen.

Learn more about Platform Equinix. And here’s hoping we see you at the games!

Karl Strohmeyer
Karl Strohmeyer Chief Customer and Revenue Officer at Equinix