Global Wireless Solutions Debuts Event-o-Meter, a Barometer of Mobile Network Performance at Historic and National Events
DULLES, Va. — January 2, 2019 — As the wet throngs packed into Times Square to join the New Year’s Eve festivities Monday night, Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) network testing specialists were on the ground and in the action to see how well the mobile networks responded to the millions of social uploads and calls made around midnight to ring in the new year.
The verdict: “Networks were working hard to handle all the traffic, kind of like getting through the Holland Tunnel at rush hour,” said Dr. Paul Carter, CEO and founder of Global Wireless Solutions. “Even though providers took extra steps, people most likely experienced some delay in connecting with friends and family when the clock struck midnight.”
This report marks the debut of the GWS “Event-o-Meter,” a measure of network performance at historic and national events and a barometer for how American consumers experience wireless connectivity when networks are trying to accommodate heavy traffic. GWS Event-o-Meter is based on the company’s OneScore evaluation process, a measurement of overall performance that takes into account voice, data, video, coverage and reliability metrics as well as customer experience.
Delivering on consumer expectations for mobile communications is what drives the wireless industry. “The challenge for operators is to provide sufficient network capacity to meet increasing data demand, regardless of the venue or user activity,” said Bill Ho, principal analyst at 556 Ventures. “GWS’ technically rigorous testing methodology enables them to evaluate network performance at any location or event as it relates to how real consumers use their network.”
Event-o-Meter NYE at Times Square 2019: Findings
The OneScore for New Year’s Eve in Times Square from 5 p.m. ET to 2am was 77 out of 100.
By way of comparison, the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Los Angeles had a OneScore of 89, Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential inauguration ranked at 75 and the 2018 Boston Marathon scored 86.
GWS testing specialists experienced the following before, during and after the ball dropped:
- Nearly 100 percent of calls made on New Year’s Eve in Times Square were completed successfully
- Data-related tasks, like web browsing and uploading posts to social media, had normal success rates (in the high 90 percent range) even if they took longer to complete
- Video uploads took about 10 seconds earlier in the evening but slowed to 16 seconds by midnight
- Photos and selfie uploads took about five seconds leading up to midnight but nine seconds when the ball dropped
- Overall reliability of the network was solid and unchanged throughout testing
- Network performance was back to normal by 1 a.m. ET
Network carriers deployed advanced features to improve performance, including LTE 4CA (carrier aggregation of four channels for the fastest 4G available), higher-order modulation like 256QAM, voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls, and increased use of LTE multiplexing techniques (i.e., multiple-input and multiple-output) like 2×2 and 4×4 MIMO.
“We took our new GWS Event-o-Meter to the streets in Times Square this New Year’s Eve to see how the network stacks up in this ‘acid test’ for performance,” added Dr. Carter. “Americans count on wireless performance when and where they need it, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. We must be able to post photos, download videos and place phone calls. Overall, the networks made a good effort to accomodate the incredibly high traffic at one of the busiest times and spots in the country.”
GWS had a total of three data collection teams in New York City on New Year’s Eve. Each team used SwissQual QualiPoc on Samsung Galaxy S9 collection devices to measure the performance of the Tier 1 mobile networks. Nearly 13,000 voice and data samples were collected and compiled into a single OneScore, resulting in a combined overall event experience measurement on a scale from 0-100. New Year’s Eve data collection started at Monday, December 31, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET and concluded on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 2 a.m.
About Global Wireless Solutions, Inc.
Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Global Wireless Solutions has set the industry standard for network benchmarking, analysis and testing. Its proprietary OneScore network ranking combines high-level network testing data with real-world network usage scenarios to make the results of testing relatable and easy to understand. Working with some of the world’s largest wireless network providers, GWS offers high-quality network data and engineering analysis through a suite of benchmarking products, services and OneMeasure diagnostic apps that include drive, venue and in-building testing. At last count, GWS has driven 12 million data collection miles for its customers. For more information, visit gwsolutions.com and follow us on Twitter at @gwsolutionsinc.