Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) has announced that demand for frequency spectrum during the upcoming 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in August has surpassed all previous events, including the 2012 London games. More than 20,000 frequencies and 77,000 broadcasting stations will provide dedicated coverage of the event. In addition, over 14,620 pieces of equipment have been tested and labeled, mainly at Maracana Stadium, where the opening ceremony will take place. One of the tasks of the telecom regulator will be to prevent frequency interference during the event.
While mega-events like the Rio Olympics may be headaches for regulators, they are potential gold mines for operators. The impending spectrum demand in Rio is a reminder of an important feature of today’s mobile landscape worldwide—the fact that network traffic is subject to gigantic spikes during specific time periods defined by public events. Mobile operators should be sure to seize the occasion and be ready to profit from the demand. In order to do so, they must make sure their networks are able to handle the volume effectively, and they should offer discounts and special deals to attract customers during the specified time, because entities other than MNOs will be competing for consumer eyeballs.