Fon highlights the increasing relevance of connectivity at large events of this kind
11 JUNE 2018. MADRID. – The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which starts on June 14th, is expected to go far beyond televisions and become the most digital football competition in history, significantly exceeding the figures of the previous edition. According to a Google report, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil generated 300 million tweets in its first phase alone, as well as 2,000 million tournament-related searches.
Russia will experience the highest connectivity demand in its history due to the arrival of over 500,000 million foreign tourists to 11 hosting cities. And most are expected to be eager to share information with family and friends in real time using their devices.
Fans look for WiFi before travelling to Russia
It’s clear that fans travelling to Russia are interested in connectivity, so most of the event guides provided by organizations such as FIFA include a specific section with this information.
Bearing in mind Russia is not part of the EU, and therefore the 2017 regulation unifying European telecommunications networks does not apply: European SIM cards are unregulated in the country, and visitors will be required to use roaming. To avoid high costs, many fans might prefer to connect to WiFi networks.
“Connectivity has become an essential need in our daily lives and it reaches its peak in events of this kind which generate a huge volume of data from millions of devices”, highlighted Alex Puregger, CEO of Fon, the global WiFi network.
Tourist guides indicate that open WiFi networks are already provided in public spaces in some Russian cities. Coverage should be available in main streets, parks and tourist attractions, as well as most of the airports and train stations. However, it is also important to note that there are differences across the country regarding WiFi access. While it will be relatively easy to access this service in big cities, in smaller, more remote ones, such as Kaliningrad, access to WiFi in hotels and small businesses may be more inaccessible or only available as a paid service. Additionally, fans should be aware that experts are questioning the security of these open WiFi networks and suggesting caution when sharing information over them.
“The ability to rely on quality WiFi that meets the expectations of attendees will be a decisive factor in how they rate their overall user experience. I’m delighted that we can offer this experience via our expansive network and thanks to our advanced technology that will provide a seamless connectivity experience”, added Puregger.
During the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Fon will provide partners and customers access to WiFi in over 10,000 locations thanks to an agreement with the operator ER Telecom. The WiFi service covers 32 cities, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and eight more of the 11 cities which will host the event. The company has over a decade of experience connecting companies and end-users through WiFi networks, using innovative technology to integrate networks with maximum simplicity and security. Access to WiFi networks will be provided by a new Fon WiFi app available globally, as well as through an SDK integrated into partners’ apps, such as those of Virgin Mobile México and Travel Club. Users will be connected automatically to available WiFi networks when they are close to an ER Telecom network access point even if apps are closed.
Fon is the global WiFi network. We pioneered residential WiFi sharing over a decade ago and, together with leading telcos, we’ve built the world’s largest WiFi community of over 21 million hotspots. We are experts in keeping people seamlessly connected by aggregating residential and prime public WiFi footprints, as well as facilitating interconnection between WiFi networks. Our global clients include AT&T, British Telecom, Eurona, KPN, Proximus, Travel Club, and Virgin Mobile. Discover more at fon.com