For the past few years our partner, Global Wireless Solutions, Inc. (GWS), has been testing the mobile networks at the Mobile World Congress Americas (formerly the CTIA Show).  GWS, the largest, most experienced independent provider of network benchmark data, is at it again performing a thorough testing of the Moscone Center halls during MWC Americas 2017 in an effort to see how the wireless networks are serving you during the show.

In order to get the most reliable results possible, GWS testing specialists are methodically walking the aisles as they test every corner of the exhibition halls this week, decked out in GWS monogrammed polos and toting a Rohde & Schwarz’s SwissQual Freerider backpack.  (Psst: Feel free to give them some booth candy as they walk past – they need the energy.)  They are gathering voice and data information simultaneously on the four major wireless carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.  On Tuesday, the team tested the newly-loaded networks as show attendees arrived on the first day of the show.  Today, the test specialists will be returning again to test the halls, common spaces, meeting rooms, and walkways between the halls as the strain on each network inevitably increases.

During the Show testing, all voice calls were successful on all major networks.  AT&T and Verizon delivered the best voice quality, while Sprint delivered weaker downlink audio throughout the North Hall.  T-Mobile and Verizon had the fastest call connection times.

Data tests showed that AT&T used its LTE-CA network 75 percent of the time to deliver the fastest average download throughput of 61 Mbps, coupled with an average upload throughput of 28 Mbps.  Next fastest, T-Mobile pushed data to the test devices at a download speed of 48 Mbps with 11 Mbps upload speeds.  Sprint relied entirely on its 2500-band TD-LTE network to provide a total of 40 MHz bandwidth to the UE 80 percent of the time, but still fell into third with a 48 Mbps download and 6 Mbps upload.  Surprisingly, Verizon was on LTE-CA 90 percent of the time and was the only network that delivered 2CA for a total 40 MHz bandwidth, but clocked in behind the others at a still-impressive 40 Mbps download and 16 Mbps upload.  AT&T provided the fastest latencies of around 41 msec, Sprint and T-Mobile were both at 55 msec, while Verizon was sluggish at 125 msec.

Although the Show was in a different location last year, the fastest networks at this year’s MWCA Show have data speeds 75 percent faster than at the Sands in Las Vegas last year (61 Mbps versus 35 Mbps), and the slowest networks are four times faster (40 Mbps versus 9 Mbps).  Overall, a much improved wireless experience.

Stay tuned for an inside look into what the mobile performance is like throughout the course of this week at MWC Americas.