At times Thursday, Eagles fans couldn’t tweet or talk on their smartphones as Philadelphia’s wireless network shuddered under the strain.
AT&T Inc. said on Friday that the data equivalent of 44.5 million selfies traversed its network during the Eagles victory parade, surpassing usage during Pope Francis’ two-day visit in 2015.
Not surprisingly, AT&T’s usage peaked around the time of Jason Kelce’s “hungry dog” speech at the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“We had some moments of congestion due to the large amount of people using their phones in the same area at the same time, but overall it performed well,” said AT&T spokeswoman Brandy Bell-Truskey.
T-Mobile said that it routed 935,000 social media posts during the parade — 330,000 Facebook posts, 300,000 Instagrams, 285,000 Snapchats, and 20,000 tweets. Spokeswoman Kaitlin Craig said that Eagles fans used 2½ times more data than New England Patriots fans did for their Super Bowl celebration last year.
Sprint said that overall data usage soared 43 percent, with the greatest volume between City Hall and the Art Museum. There were 600,000 text messages sent and received in the area of the parade and 811,000 minutes of phone conversations.
Verizon did not disclose its network usage.
Philadelphia officials had warned that the city’s wireless network would be challenged for the parade as the wireless carriers had only had about six days to boost capacity for the crowds. The Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com quoted experts who estimated the Eagles crowd at 700,000.
— Jimmy Donofrio (@JimmyDonofrio) February 8, 2018
Jimmy Donofrio, 32, a big social media user who was raised in Pitman and now lives in Washington, took Amtrak to come back for the parade. He watched the Eagles caravan pass by at Broad and Lombard Streets. But he said he lost connectivity in the late morning.
“I sent a few Snapchats, but they were stuck in limbo,” said Donofrio. “By about 10:30, I couldn’t get anything through.” Instead of uploaded messages, he took some video and edited and posted it Thursday night.