Data, calls whizzed through Super Bowl

Americans and their handheld electronic devices have become virtually inseparable, and there was no greater proof of that than at Super Bowl XLVI.

Both Verizon and AT&T said Tuesday that wireless phones and data connections saw dramatic usage increases on Super Bowl Sunday in Indianapolis.

Verizon Wireless customers used nearly three times more data in Indianapolis this year than last year's Super Bowl in Dallas, the company said.

AT&T said Super Bowl data usage was the highest its network had ever seen from a single sporting event.

Social connections were the primary data driver, with those at the game staying connected with others throughout.

Verizon said that Facebook usage from the stadium spiked at the beginning of the game, during halftime and after the game, and the number of calls went through the roof.

"Call volume soared more than 1,000 percent or more than 11 times more voice calls than during a regular season Colts game," Verizon said in a news release.

AT&T said more than 75,000 calls originated on its network from the stadium, along with more than 720,000 text messages.

"AT&T customers created and uploaded more content than they consumed," the company said in a news release. "They uploaded nearly 40 percent more data than they downloaded, posting lots of video, pictures and messages to friends who weren't lucky enough to experience the game live."

Both companies invested a lot in infrastructure and faster 4G networks, ensuring that voice calls and data would flow uninterrupted, despite heavy load.

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