‘Wi-Fi services at World Cup need more investment’

Rio de Janiero, Jan 22: A surge in demand may overload and crash Wi-Fi services during the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Brazil this summer, unless more money is spent to upgrade infrastructure, experts have said.

The rise in sales of tablets and smartphones with 3G and 4G Internet connection in Brazil could lead to an “avalanche in data traffic” that could interrupt access during the major global sporting event, Brazilian daily said O Globo said Tuesday citing experts, adding data traffic in 2014 is expected to rise 65 percent in Brazil, to 19.2 billion gigabytes, reports Xinhua.

And due to the expected rise in demand during the World Cup, networks may fail at crucial moments, such as during key matches.

“The network will be slow. At events with large crowds, despite the companies’ efforts, connection will fail. More investment is needed,” network expert Virgilio Freire said.

Brazil’s five cellphone operators joined forces to equip stadiums hosting matches with the appropriate mobile Internet infrastructure at a cost of some 200 million reals ($84.7 million).

The infrastructure is expected to be fully operational by April, two months before the beginning of the World Cup.

In addition, trucks equipped with antennas will be parked around the stadiums to increase network capacity during the matches.

Still, Brazil need to invest more money to ensure that Internet connection at and around the stadiums will not fail due to the number of people wanting to upload and view pictures and videos at the same time.

Communications regulation agency Anatel also admitted there may be “momentary difficulties” in accessing the Internet at stadiums.

The World Cup will take place in 12 Brazilian cities in June and July.