Visitors to this summer's FIFA World Cup finals in Moscow transferred 144 petabytes of data over mobile networks, and 9.5 terabytes of data over the city's Wi-Fi hotspots, according to figures released by the IT Department of the Moscow Government (DIT).
Data transfer over the mobile network was equivalent to 72 trillion photos on Facebook, 11 thousand films in 4K format or three thousand copies of the digitized fund of the largest library in Moscow. Over 70,000 people connected to the city's free Wi-Fi network, mainly to access social media apps including Instagram, WhatsApp, Russia's VK, YouTube and Facebook.
Broadcasters, organisers and visitors set a record for interacting with FIFA digital services. In total there have been 7.5 billion interactions with official FIFA digital platforms.
With a speed reaching 260 Mbit/s, HD video a full game could be downloaded in 4 minutes. The peak load was reached during Russia-Croatia game which exceeded the traditional New Year peaking load by more than 1.5 times.
Fifty percent of visiting fans from Europe, and 85% from Latin America used pre-paid SIM cards from Russian telcos for the event.
The high levels of connectivity were made possible by investments by Russian telcos of around 1.3bn rubles ($20m) in ICT infrastructure at the stadiums, training bases, transport stations, airports, fan zones, hotels, media centers and management headquarters.
Moscow smart city authorities spent a further 830m rubles ($13.3m) in extending the city's network of free public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Moscow has become a test bed for cutting edge technologies at the four FIFA venues: Luzhniki stadium, Spartak stadium, FIFA Fan Fest Sparrow Hills, FIFA Fan Fest Spartak stadium. In total 1,300 cell towers, 55 mobile cell sites and 25,000km of fibre line were deployed to achieve reliable results. The Luzhniki Stadium was able to provide simultaneous connection for 150,000 users, while FIFA Fan Fest Sparrow Hills - has simultaneous connection for 120,000 users.
The city will also begin testing for permanent 5G deployment in early 2019, with a pilot zone launched by Moscow Government in cooperation with Russian operator Megafon. The operator plans to conduct commercial launch of 5G networks until 2022, with a focus on four sectors - healthcare, transport, construction and housing utilities.
With regards to Wi-Fi, city authorities added 2,000 new Wi-Fi hotspots to its existing infrastructure of over 30,000 hotspots. The Wi-Fi network was also installed at the FIFA venues in Moscow with the average speed 7 Mb/s, three and half times higher than the speeds required by FIFA. The Luzhniki stadium has 420 wireless access points, to provide simultaneous connection for 84k visitors, while Sparrow Hills had 100 wireless access points, for simultaneous connection for 25k visitors.
Andrey Belozerov, Strategy and Innovations Advisor to CIO of Moscow noted: "In cooperation with mobile operators we have developed sophisticated digital ecosystem providing solid mobile network and extensive Wi-Fi coverage for our visitors. At first we have expected 30-35k visitors at FIFA Fan Fest Sparrow Hills, but during the first day 70k visitors arrived and it exceeded our expectations. We had to scale up our networks to withstand a peaking load. We believe that we have managed to provide an infrastructure for everyone to share this moment with their friends abroad".
The city also utilised 4,288 CCTV cameras to monitor metro stations and other World Cup related sites, including 3,150 cameras at Luzniki Stadium, 521 at Spartak Moscow Stadium and 393 at Sparrow Hills.
Moscow authorities also piloted three video analytics zones with face recognition systems. All in all, 321 cameras with face recognition were installed at FIFA facilities: 321 at Luzhniki, 58 at FIFA Fan Fest Sparrow Hills and 39 at Spartak stadium. Face recognition system identified football hooligans and prevented them from entering FIFA facilities. In total, 98 visitors were banned to enter FIFA facilities as their photo was matched with the database provided by city authorities. As a result CCTV system allowed organizers to profoundly enhance security.