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Users see a better mobile experience in Australia’s Women’s World Cup stadiums than the Australian average

Sam Fenwick (Principal Analyst), Robert Wyrzykowski (Senior Analyst)

Women’s football is seeing a huge surge in popularity, with Euro 2022 attracting a projected cumulative live viewership of 365 million people, more than double the number of live views compared to the 2017 tournament. Now, with the Women’s World Cup in full swing, it is not only the players who are feeling the pressure. Fans attending in person expect to be able to share every moment. They rely on cellular connectivity to aid travel to and from the venues. Ensuring that mobile networks are match-fit is a formidable challenge and one that operators address through the use of extensive on-site infrastructure.

Opensignal users in Women’s World Cup stadiums see much faster speeds than the national experience and spend more time connected to 5G too. Telstra comes top for overall Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience in the stadiums, while Vodafone and Telstra tie for 5G Availability.

In this analysis, Opensignal looks at the mobile network experience across the Australian stadiums where the Women’s World Cup matches are taking place. We compare it against the national experience and also see which operators are kicking the ball straight into the back of the net.

For this analysis, we have included all six of the Australian stadiums that are venues for the Women's World Cup. The stadiums are Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane), Coopers Stadium (Adelaide), AAMI Park (Melbourne), HBF Park (Perth), Accor Stadium (Sydney) and Allianz Stadium (Sydney).

Our users in the six stadiums observe average overall download speeds of 84.1Mbps — 27.5Mbps (48.5%) faster than the Australian average. In addition, stadium users see faster overall and 5G upload speeds than the national results, clocking up 12.9Mbps for Upload Speed Experience — 4.4Mbps faster than the national figure — and 21.9Mbps for 5G Upload Speed. Our users across Australia only see average 5G upload speeds of 15.7Mbps which is 6.1Mbps slower than the higher 5G speeds users experience in the six Women’s World Cup stadiums of 21.9Mbps.

5G users in the Women’s World Cup stadiums spend 38% of their time with an active 5G connection, nearly double the Australian average. This matters as users can only enjoy the superior experience that 5G provides when they have a 5G connection. Stadium-goers also spend slightly more time with a 3G or better signal than the national figure.

There is a much starker difference in the time users spend on Wi-Fi than there is in 5G usage. At the stadiums users spend much less time connected to Wi-Fi than they do nationally which highlights the importance of the 5G experience inside stadiums. Users spend just 15.4% of time on Wi-Fi at the stadiums compared with 50.1% nationally. Greater reliance on cellular networks in these stadiums makes it harder for operators to ensure that there is enough capacity for the thousands of spectators present at each match.

Stadium users have a slightly better overall experience when streaming live video (Live Video Experience) compared to the Australian average — 51.8 points on a 100-point scale versus 49.3 points. Both scores place in the Good (43-53) category. This means that our users are, on average, able to stream on-demand video at least at 720p with satisfactory loading times, little stalling and a substantial live offset.

Switching to on-demand video streaming, the overall experience in these stadiums rates as Very Good (68-78) with a score of 71.6 points on a 100-point scale. This compares well against the national average of 67.2 points, which places one category lower — Good (58-68). A Very Good rating means that our users are, on average, able to stream video at 1080p or better with satisfactory loading times and little stalling.

Breaking down the experience of our users at the Women’s World Cup stadiums by operator, Telstra users see the fastest overall download and upload speeds. Telstra comes top for Download Speed Experience and is the only operator with a score above the 100Mbps mark. Optus and Vodafone are a long way behind the front-runner with scores of 77.8Mbps and 62.8Mbps, respectively. Similarly, the two operators lag behind Telstra on Upload Speed Experience with statistically tied scores of 11.5-11.9Mbps, while Telstra users observe average overall upload speeds of 14.1Mbps.

In contrast, Optus and Telstra share first place for 5G Download Speed and 5G Upload Speed with statistically tied scores of 213.6-216.5Mbps and 22.8-25.7Mbps, respectively. Vodafone is far behind its rivals in both categories. However, Vodafone comes top alongside Telstra for 5G Availability with scores of 40.1-43.7%, while Optus lags behind with 30.1%.

Women’s football is exploding in popularity, bringing the unscripted excitement that only major sports events can provide to new audiences. Similarly, the importance of connectivity to major sporting events is growing. Apps can allow visitors to order food and drinks without leaving their seats and see what they look like in their team’s kit. In addition, augmented reality can be used for both in-venue navigation and to provide real-time and statistical data to enhance the viewing experience.

The mobile experience at Women’s World Cup venues is already better than Australia’s national average across a range of measures. However, as more viewers embrace women’s football and more people wish to share their experience in real-time, the goalposts for stadium owners and mobile operators are continuously moving.