It's not just the players who will be mobile at the World Cup

2014 tournament will be most mobile yet, says Ofcom

Opening ceremonies and the first match featuring "home" team Brazil and Croatia were held Thursday for this year's World Cup.

Although there have been complaints about the lack of Wi-Fi at some of the Brazilian stadiums, the 2014 World Cup is expected to be the most mobile so far, particularly for U.K. soccer fans, according to U.K. telecom regulator Ofcom.

More than double the proportion of U.K. adults will be following the soccer tournament on their smartphones compared to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa--62 percent this year compared to 30 percent in 2010.  

In addition to the widespread ownership of smartphones, U.K. mobile operators have deployed a substantial network of 4G mobile services that will improve the experience of users watching video of the games, notes Ofcom. There are currently 6.5 million 4G subscribers in the U.K., it adds.

In addition, 34,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots have been deployed across the U.K., more than double the number in 2010.

Fans are expected to use social media extensively to share their opinions on teams and players. This will be easier for this World Cup because two-thirds of U.K. adults have a social media profile, compared to 54 percent in 2010, and 53 percent of U.K. adults now use their mobile devices to access social media sties compare to only 22 percent in 2010.

FIFA, the international body that oversees the World Cup, set up its first Instagram account for fans to post photos of their favorite plays and players. In addition, it has launched the Global Stadium, a social, online and mobile hub for soccer fans to "share their excitement and stay in touch with all the action."

The Telegraph newspaper has put together a list of the 10 "essential" mobile apps for the World Cup, with most available for iOS and Android. Probably of most interest are the Official FIFA app, which features the latest World Cup news, search capability for players and coaches and full schedule of games; Fantasy iTeam, for people who want to play fantasy soccer along with the World Cup matches; and BBC Sport, which enables the setting of game alerts, including the line-ups, kick-off, goals, half-time and final results.

First game for the U.S. squad is set for Monday against Ghana. Go USA!

For more:
- check out the Ofcom release
- see the FIFA Global Stadium announcement
- read the Telegraph's mobile apps list

Related Articles:
Translate the World Cup with Futebol Portugal
World Cup to drive mobile video usage worldwide
Brazil not mobile ready for World Cup