Washington, D.C., June 29, 2017 – During a recent major league baseball
game at Washington Nationals Park,
leading independent network benchmarking specialists Global Wireless Solutions, Inc.
(GWS) conducted customer experience mobile network testing. The tests
revealed that, while the Washington Nationals easily handled the Seattle
Mariners, the real game was between cellular and WiFi network performance
as they battled to provide the best online experience.
The cellular data performance before the game showed that fans might be
best off sending a pre-game selfie over WiFi, especially if they are on
Sprint’s network. Data speeds across all carriers for a 4mb file upload
(the size of a Snapchat video) ranged from 1 to 4 Mbps. Meanwhile, the
Nationals Park WiFi network clocked in at an average 8 Mbps, which would in
theory allow baseball fans to upload a video in 4 seconds, rather than 40
seconds for the slowest cellular LTE network.
WiFi’s fastball has some zip on it
The $300 million dollar program to bring WiFi to every major league baseball park in the US has
brought in-seat connectivity into the 21st century. When
measuring potential capacity download throughputs, the Nationals Park WiFi
network was overall higher than those measured on cellular networks. During
the game when the Park was the busiest, their WiFi network was capable of
delivering the highest speeds to fans averaging roughly 32 Mbps, while the
fastest cellular network, AT&T, averaged 25 Mbps.
Reliability is key
While the Park’s WiFi was the quickest, it was not the most reliable. The
carriers all experienced higher reliability in completing data tasks,
nearly 100%, while WiFi was several percentage points behind.
AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile also provided consistent speeds throughout
the evening, while Verizon’s mobile data speeds dropped sharply during the
game. For example, Verizon’s download speeds for tests that are similar to
watching a short video clip fell from 2.8Mbps before the game to 1.6Mbps
during the game, before rising to 4.2 Mbps after the game as GWS testers
were leaving the Park. Verizon’s upload speeds for tests similar to
uploading a small video to Facebook or other social media sites followed
the same pattern, dropping noticeably from 3.8 Mbps before the game to 0.6
Mbps during, before rising to 4.9 Mbps after the game.
For voice calls AT&T, Sprint and Verizon all had 100% reliability with
AT&T and Verizon using VoLTE the entire time. T-Mobile, also using
VoLTE, wasn’t far behind, however, they did experience 1 in 12 calls
failing before the game started.
Paul Carter, CEO GWS, commented
: “People want a reliable network with reasonable speed that works when you
make a call, post a selfie, or load a video. If you’re at a major sporting
event, you want to quickly take care of your online activities and watch
the game not your phone.”
“A consistent Internet experience is highly valued. Steady with reasonable
speed is a better experience than a network which is fast, then becomes too
slow to undertake some common tasks, then suddenly speeds up again. If you
want to share a photo or send a video, you want your network to support
that dependably. For some baseball fans, the WiFi network in the Park can
provide a better experience than their own LTE connection.”
Approximately 2,100 voice and data tests were conducted at Washington
Nationals Park before, during and after a Nationals baseball game on
May 24, 2017. Using the GWS OneMeasure app in combination with Samsung
S8 devices, GWS network testing specialists walked throughout the
ballpark testing on all levels accessible with a general admissions
ticket as well as park seating. In addition, carrier testing was
performed after the game along the route between Nationals Park and the
Navy Yard-Ballpark Metrorail station.
The tests evaluated the performance of Tier 1 carrier networks
(AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) and the Nationals Park WiFi
network in terms of completing everyday tasks (such as uploading a
video, sending a Snapchat, making a mobile network phone call, etc.)
and the speed at which the data related tasks can be completed.
About Global Wireless Solutions, Inc.
Global Wireless Solutions, Inc. defines the industry standard for
network benchmarking, analysis and testing. Working with some of the
world’s largest wireless network providers, GWS offers standardized,
high-quality network data and engineering analysis to its customers
through a suite of benchmarking products, services, and diagnostic apps
that includes drive, venue, and in-building testing.
Firmly rooted in a deep understanding of network engineering, GWS
provides best-in-class, turnkey solutions to help customers better
understand overall network performance as today’s wireless networks
grow and evolve. Founded in 1996, GWS is headquartered in Dulles, VA.
At last count, GWS has driven 10.5 million data collection miles for
its customers. For more information, visit www.gwsolutions.com and follow us on Twitter at @gwsolutionsinc.
Global Wireless Solutions, Inc.