Features | 24 May 2018

Live from the Royal Wedding: How the Vodafone network handled a 600% surge in data uploads

As crowds in Windsor took pictures and video of the Royal Wedding, the Vodafone network recorded over 600% more data uploads than usual - that’s roughly the equivalent of posting about 680,000 snaps on Snapchat.

A #VodafoneTreats box to celebrate the Royal Wedding: bunting, tea, champagne and a bluetooth speaker
A #VodafoneTreats box to celebrate the Royal Wedding

By Kye Prigg, Head of Networks, Vodafone UK

Across the UK, lots of us prepared for the Royal Wedding by getting the picnic basket ready – more than half our customers told us sausage rolls were a must, beating Scotch eggs and cucumber sandwiches, according to our informal Twitter survey. At Vodafone, preparing for the Royal Wedding meant getting our network ready to carry loads more data. Given the large crowds expected in Windsor, we knew data demand would soar, especially with everyone sharing photos and videos at the same time.

Vodafone customers voted us the Best Mobile Network at the 2017 Trusted Reviews Awards, and we’re determined to keep living up to our title. To ensure that our customers could count on us on the big day, here’s a quick look at what we did to get our network ready, along with a few stats showing just how much data we carried.

Sharing the Royal Wedding with friends and family

Photo showing a temporary mobile mast installed in Windsor for the Royal Wedding
Temporary mobile mast installed in Windsor for the Royal Wedding

Up to around 150,000 well-wishers flocked to Windsor for the Royal Wedding, according to media reports. To handle the extra demand for data, there were two additional Vodafone masts installed in the area to supplement the eight existing sites. These two temporary masts carried about half the total data used on the day.

As crowds thronged the Long Walk, Vodafone customers uploaded over 600% more data than would be usual in that area on a Saturday. That jump in data is roughly the equivalent of posting about 680,000 snaps on Snapchat.

Photo of a crowd in Windsor watching the Royal Wedding and waving flags
Along the Long Walk, a crowd waves flags as they watch the Royal Wedding. Photo courtesy of Andy Simkin

Here’s another key data point. On the big day, the Vodafone network carried over 3 times more data traffic than on a typical Saturday in Windsor. That means our customers devoured about the same amount of data needed to download 2,900 HD movies when they shared pictures and video from the Royal Wedding. And we’re just kicking off the summer!

Keeping Vodafone customers connected at this summer’s hottest events

Sunset image showing people's hands in the air, filming and taking photos
People at a festival taking photos and video

Right now we’re gearing up for a busy summer, with lots more big events to come, including:

  • Volvo Ocean Race, Cardiff: 27 May-10 June
  • Capital’s Summertime Ball with Vodafone: 9 June
  • Goodwood Festival of Speed, West Sussex: 12-15 July
  • Royal International Air Tattoo: 13-15 July
  • Bristol International Balloon Festival: 9-12 August
  • Reading Festival: 24–26 August
  • Royal County of Berkshire Show: 15-16 September

Whether our customers are headed to festivals celebrating music, sport, or all things aviation, we want to be sure they can count on our network, all summer long and throughout the year.