Test and Measurement: AT&T, T-Mo duel in recent benchmarking

T-Mobile US and AT&T are duking it out over performance honors in recently released network testing.

Global Wireless Solutions, which released its annual national report that included testing in nearly 500 markets across 50 states, concluded that AT&T had the best national network, followed by Verizon and then T-Mobile US. But each carrier had a standout area of performance, GWS noted: AT&T did particularly well in video and voice performance and reliability, Verizon had the fastest upload speeds and best coverage and T-Mobile did the best on network capacity stress tests, aimed at assessing the maximum possible throughput at a given time.

In terms of coverage, GWS found that Verizon had the most coverage in the areas tested, although both AT&T and T-Mobile increased their service areas since GWS’ last round of nationwide testing in 2020.

GWS’ ranking includes not just straight-up network performance data, but ties in data from an annual consumer survey that provides insights on which mobile tasks that consumers prize most highly and weights those tasks accordingly in the overall ranking. Dr. Paul Carter, founder and CEO of GWS, said that this year’s consumer survey “showed consumers were considerably more aware and excited about 5G than they were in 2020.”

Meanwhile, T-Mobile US was touting recent analysis from benchmarking company umlaut in four U.S. metropolitan markets, as well as testing by PCMag. Umlaut’s testing, which was commissioned by T-Mobile US, took place in Norfolk, VA; Indianapolis, IN; Detroit, MI; and San Bernardino and Riverside, CA. The testing company reported that T-Mo’s average download speeds on 5G were around 200 Mbps on average and as high as 258 Mbps, depending on the market. T-Mobile also had particularly good availability of 5G: Above 90% in all of the markets tested, and as high as 99% in Detroit and Indianapolis.

T-Mo also landed long-awaited honors from PCMag, which declared, “It’s T-Mobile’s year at last. The carrier’s new mid-band 5G network is the only nationwide 5G that’s markedly faster than 4G.” This was T-Mobile US’ first award from the magazine for the fastest U.S. mobile network.

You can read PCMag’s analysis here and the report from umlaut is here.

In other test news:

Anritsu announced the deployment of its service assurance solutions on AWS. Full story here.

Keysight Technologies helped MediaTek on a new milestone in 5G: Aggregating three New Radio carriers for 300 megahertz of bandwidth in sub-6 GHz spectrum, and thereby achieving 6 Gbps data speeds. MediaTek used its own M80 5G modem and Keysight’s 5G Protocol R&D Toolset for the testing at MediaTek’s lab at Hsinchu Science Park.

“This milestone is significant to mobile operators with substantial investments in frequency range 1 (FR1) that need to efficiently leverage spectrum allocations to deploy advanced 5G NR services requiring high data rates,”said Mark Wallace, SVP of Keysight global sales.

Rohde & Schwarz teamed up with Cadence Design Systems to develop a new solution to support engineering from RF design to implementation while using realistic signals for testing and simulation.The new R&S VSESIM-VSS signal creation and analysis tool supports all major standards including 5G and the latest Wi-Fi specs, according to Rohde. The joint solution combines signal generation, design simulation and signal analysis, the two companies said, and is “particularly useful for customers in the wireless, automotive, and aerospace and defense industries as well as for manufacturers of active components and systems.”

Christina Gessner, VP of spectrum and network analyzers, EMC and antenna test at Rohde & Schwarz said that “connecting EDA design simulation and test and measurement helps our customers achieve first-pass design success and shorter times to market. Using realistic signals, deriving common figures of merit such as EVM and understanding linearization capabilities even before tape-out means a competitive advantage for our customers. We look forward to bringing the results of our cooperation with Cadence to the market.”

“Customers developing RF frontend communication ICs and systems require access to the latest communications standards. The joint solution from our companies enables our mutual customers to accurately analyze standard compliant signals throughout the design phase, including final test validation,” said Vinod Kariat, corporate vice president of R&D in the Custom IC & PCB Group at Cadence.

The test company also said this week that  its dedicated German locations have achieved management systems certified to meet ISO/IEC 27001:2013 requirements for information security and privacy. Rohde noted that its ATC Center of Competence for VCS has had this certification since 2020.

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