Verizon’s network has provided it a consistent advantage over its competitors over the years. The differences are narrowing, according to data from RootMetrics, but the carrier still shows “consistent and excellent performance across the board” and has been stepping up its network speeds in cities across the country.
Although RootMetrics has paused its active data collection due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company has been analyzing previously collected data from early in the first half of 2020 and assessing the relative strengths of each of the national carriers.
In its look at Verizon, RootMetrics pointed to factors including the fact that its signal strength results have “typically been stronger than those of the other carriers across the U.S., and Verizon’s signal to noise ratio (SNR) has been exceptional.” That strong SNR has been “driven by well-planned network design and meticulous optimization [and]allows the carrier to deliver faster speeds and better reliability than a network whose signal suffers from more interference or noise,” RootMetrics said. “However, a carrier can compensate for a lower SNR and still deliver great speeds is by adding capacity via additional spectrum, which is largely how AT&T and T-Mobile have shown improved data speeds over the past year or so, even with lower SNR’s. Good signal quality can also be a differentiator for delivering a reliable call experience, as demonstrated by the large number of Call RootScore Awards that Verizon has won over the years. … The bottom line is that while signal conditions are strong for all three carriers and the divide is narrowing, Verizon has held an SNR advantage that has helped the carrier provide outstanding results to its users for many years. And now that Verizon has launched and is expanding its 5G service, we could see even stronger results going forward as its 5G network grows and matures,” the benchmarking company said.
According to RootMetrics’ data, Verizon’s network speeds improved in 40 of the 55 markets that it has tested in 2020 to date. Most of those improvements were relatively minor, RootMetrics noted, because the carrier’s network was already so fast. In seven of those 40 markets, speeds increased by about 8 Mbps.
“There wasn’t as much room for improvement on Verizon’s part, making its speed gains all the more impressive,” the company concluded. However, it did point out that Verizon tied with AT&T for the number of markets with median download speeds of 30 Mbps or faster, but AT&T has pushed its topline network speeds even further, with more markets that have 50 Mbps or 70 Mbps median download speeds.
Read RootMetrics’ assessment here.
In other test news:
–Keysight Technologies says that its offerings are going to be used by China Unicom for 5G device and customer premise equipment testing and validation.
The test company also said that test lab PCTest has chosen Keysight’s 5G test offerings for 5G devices, across both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave frequency ranges.
–Rohde & Schwarz reports that it is the first test vendor to offer test and measurement equipment with the new 1.35 mm precision coaxial connector that supports frequencies up to 90 GHz, which is being standardized by both IEEE and IEC. R&S said that it has been involved since 2017 in the 1.35 mm E connector’s development, and its NRP90T and NRP90TN models of thermal power sensors use the connector.
–Anritsu is laying claim to a first, saying it has won 3GPP approval for the first 5G New Radio Standalone test for carrier aggregation, approved by by 3GPP’s RAN5 working group for sub-6 GHz. The test company said that it also has received 3GPP approval for CA sub-6 GHz testing in 5G Nonstandalone mode. The tests are available on Anritsu’s 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR.
–GWS conducted a survey of U.K. consumer and business attitudes toward 5G, and the company says there is a “lack of understanding” about 5G which “could be dampening excitement and fueling misconceptions.” Read the full story here.