Carriers’ network investments are paying off with higher customer satisfaction
Global Wireless Solutions has crowned AT&T the “best network” in its third annual national testing, but all of the three national operators can find good news in GWS’ latest network scoring, which couples nationwide drive-testing with a consumer survey about wireless use and perceptions of mobile service.
“Network infrastructure and technology investments across all carriers appear to be paying off,” the benchmarking company concluded, noting that in the consumer survey, 84% of participants reported that their wireless carrier was meeting their communications needs “always” or “most of the time,” even as the global pandemic intensifies consumers’ need for telecommunications services.
“Network performance is absolutely vital during this period of expanded telework since subscribers are relying as never before on their mobile devices,” said Dr. Paul Carter, CEO and founder of GWS. “According to our recently released survey, if consumers could only keep one product or service during the stay-at-home mandate, their top choice was their smartphone. It’s become part of how we live life and communicate, especially now. And this only reinforces the carriers’ key role in supporting communications needs during the pandemic – and beyond.”
GWS also noted that since it began its national network reports three years ago, “network upgrades have resulted in throughputs increasing by an average 62% across all carriers,” with AT&T’s up 108%, Verizon’s were up 52% and T-Mobile US’ throughputs up 29%.
GWS’ OneScore ranking is based on a combination of direct network testing and an online consumer survey of 5,000 U.S. adults. The survey was conducted by Toluna and took place between mid-June and early July 2020. The network testing was conducted between February through July of this year in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with GWS completing nearly 9.8 million voice and data tests. GWS used Rohde & Schwarz’ SmartBenchmarker test equipment, Samsung Galaxy mobile device and its own Mobistat data analysis and reporting program.
Among the findings:
-AT&T’s network had the fastest throughputs in GWS’ data “stress tests,” and also scored the highest in data reliability, in terms of data tasks being able to be completed successfully. AT&T also had the best video user experience due to the fastest loading times and least amount of buffering.
-T-Mobile US and AT&T tied for the best testing score in video quality.
-Verizon’s network was the fastest for small download tasks such as loading web pages or receiving app-related content, GWS’ testing found. However, AT&T’s network was the fastest for large download tasks like receiving videos and photos.
-In voice tests, Verizon had the fastest call set-up times and the lowest number of dropped calls. AT&T scored the highest in voice quality and “voice accessibility” tests, or successful call initiations.
Read more of GWS’ conclusions here.