Ars Technica crunches some wireless network performance numbers from the recent Super Bowl courtesy of Nexgen Wireless. The report notes that AT&T's LTE network generally outperformed both Verizon and Sprint's in terms of overall speed with an average throughput of 5.31 Mbps (compared to 2.08 for Verizon and 1.15 Mbps for Sprint), though AT&T suffered the lowest call completion rate.
Granted the Super Bowl is generally anything but normal network conditions -- with carriers heavily supplementing their network performance with numerous COWs (cell on wheels) and COLTs (Cells On Light Trucks). The report notes AT&T deliver 624GB of data at the game, while Verizon delivered 1.9 TB -- certainly explaining some of the speed differences. T-Mobile was excluded because their "file structure wasn't compatible" with the software being used.
Update: Verizon sent us this additional statement on the study:
quote:I read your story about data speeds and wanted to add more thing missing in the study, AWS spectrum. 47% of all of our data traffic within the stadium was on AWS....
...the big flaw was use of a device (Galaxy S3) that does not take advantage of our newly deployed AWS spectrum, which has increased 4G LTE data capacity by 300 percent in the NY market, including MetLife Stadium. Fully 2/3 of our capacity was on the AWS spectrum and 47 percent of our data flowed on that spectrum, which is designed to increase capacity. Now, we know LTE is about more than just speed, but here’s what we found about speeds at MetLife .our sample testing showed our network providing an average of 29.9 MB on downloads and 11.5 on uploads.
The title of this article is misleading. Sure, AT&T was outperforming Verizon and Sprint in pure speeds, but Verizon's network was also taking a substantial beating. I also wonder if AT&T had higher speeds because of LTE & HSPA+ whereas Verizon and Sprint would fall back to CDMA when LTE was over capacity. Verizon passed 3x the traffic through it's network than AT&T which is impressive.
The article referenced states there were no dropped calls by any carrier but the commentary states AT&T had the most dropped calls. The only difference was in completion rate. That's a big difference to me as I don't mind trying a call a few times as long as I don't get disconnected once I'm talking.
2014-Feb-4 11:42 am: ·
swintec Premium,VIP join:2003-12-19 Alfred, ME kudos:5
"Sprint said in a statement that its network "performed exceptionally well during the Super Bowl on Sunday, besting our competition in voice performance and providing consistent, solid data performance. Sprint saw 4G LTE data traffic increases over a typical game day of 83% and 150% for download and upload speeds respectively. And, Sprint was using a single channel of LTE, so about half of what our competitors are using today. With the deployment of Sprint Spark, Sprint will be able to aggregate multiple channels of LTE to boost throughput speeds that will match and ultimately exceed competitor speeds." -- Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts
They only had a single channel of LTE deployed. They beat the other two out for call / texting...data speeds were more than usable for an event like that. Looks like a win-win. -- Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts
Their statement was basically a generic statement about their network... Didn't say much. It's also true they have a single 5x5, but they also have way fewer customers than AT&T or Verizon.
2014-Feb-5 8:49 pm: ·
IowaCowboy Iowa native Premium join:2010-10-16 Springfield, MA kudos:1
Just install cell sites in the stadiums
I don't understand why they use COWs for NFL stadiums. They should just install permanent cell sites in the stadiums considering the frequent use of the facilities not just for football but other events like concerts and other sporting events.
2014-Feb-5 2:14 pm: ·
Mizzat Will post for thumbs Premium join:2003-05-03 Atlanta, GA kudos:1