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Last month we chronicled all the preparations the four Tier-1 carriers have made in Houston ahead of Super Bowl 51. But a new prediction from Netscout sheds some light on just why those investments were necessary.

At last year’s Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif., fans across all four carriers gobbled up nearly 16 terabytes of data. And that number could nearly double at this year’s game.

Netscout has forecast AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint will carry a stunning 32 TB of data across their networks the day of the game (Sunday), which is roughly the equivalent of 120,000 HD movies or three times the entire digital contents of the U.S. Library of Congress. Netscout predicted Verizon will carry the heaviest load, with 14 TB, with AT&T in a close second at 10.4 TB and T-Mobile and Sprint trailing with 4.2 TB and 3.2 TB, respectively.

That order would follow roughly the same pattern as last year’s Super Bowl, when Verizon customers sucked up 7 TB, and AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint customers used 5.2 Tb, 2.1 TB, and 1.6 TB, respectively. Those figures shook out to Verizon taking 44 percent of the traffic share, AT&T nabbing 32.7 percent, and T-Mobile and Sprint snagging 13.2 percent and 10.1 percent, respectively.

Verizon said last year’s usage came from an estimated 35,000 devices in Levi’s stadium, which has a total of 68,500 seats. Houston’s NRG Stadium where the game will be held this year, has around 3,200 more seats than Levi’s Stadium.

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