Press release

Mobile Networks Finish the Boston Marathon with a Reasonable Performance

Sponsored by Businesswire

Weathering a mixture of sun, wind, rain, and large crowds along the 2019
Boston Marathon race route, Global
Wireless Solutions
(GWS) completed their own marathon of mobile
network performance testing during the prestigious race. Of particular
interest was measuring how well the mobile networks managed the surge in
connectivity and social media traffic from the half million spectators
that were expected to attend this popular event.

Overall, the mobile networks finished the race with a OneScore of 76 – a
C in terms of network performance. An average performance, although not
as high as last year’s Boston Marathon score of 86. GWS Event-O-Meter
also recently recorded OneScores of 87 and 70 at MLB’s Opening Day at
Nationals Park and Yankee Stadium respectively, 66 for last month’s
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and 77 for New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

“The networks were able to hold their own during the marathon even with
thousands and thousands of fans actively engaged in social media
throughout the race,” said Dr. Paul Carter, CEO and founder of Global
Wireless Solutions, Inc. (GWS). “It’s clear that the network operators
are strongly competing in their own head-to-head race to 5G deployment;
we can see the improvements and additions in advanced features in Boston
over last year’s marathon – edging the networks closer and closer to the
5G finish line.”

This report marks the fourth GWS Event-O-Meter for 2019, a measure of
network performance at popular events nationwide and a barometer for how
American consumers experience wireless connectivity when networks are
trying to accommodate heavy traffic. The 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 based on customer experience.

Event-O-Meter Key Findings at 2019 Boston Marathon:

GWS performed testing along the marathon route including each mile
marker and the area around the finish line as well as the Boston
Marathon’s Fan Fest. The mobile networks scored a 76 out of 100 for
overall performance at this popular event.

GWS results also revealed the following while testing:

  • Nearly 100 percent of calls were completed successfully
  • Data-related tasks, like web browsing and uploading posts to social
    media, also saw success rates of nearly 100 percent.
  • Video uploads took about 12 seconds (not as fast as other major events
    recently tested by GWS).
  • Photos and selfie uploads took about 6 seconds (similar to video
    uploads, not as fast as other major events recently tested by GWS).

GWS testing also revealed that all network operators deployed advanced
features such as two, three, and four channel carrier aggregation as
well as 256QAM (a higher order advanced modulation technique). In
addition, GWS saw a high rate of voice over LTE (VoLTE) calling and
significant usage of LTE multiplexing techniques (i.e., 2×2 and 4×4
multiple-input and multiple-output) particularly with 2×2 MIMO. In fact,
on average, carrier aggregation was used over 80% of the time by
operators during GWS network stress tests; similarly 2×2 MIMO was used
two thirds of the time by operators. The net result was that these
improvements enabled operators to reach reasonably high throughputs
during the network stress tests; for example, AT&T and T-Mobile
throughputs both averaged 51 Mbps while Verizon averaged 35 Mbps and
Sprint 34 Mbps(for Sprint this represented a 46% increase in speed and
AT&T 33% over last year).


GWS network testing specialists collected along the entire Boston
Marathon route and conducted testing at each mile marker as well as the
finish line area, and also at the Boston Marathon Fan Fest at Copley
Square. SwissQual QualiPoc on Samsung Galaxy S9 collection devices were
used to measure the performance of the Tier 1 mobile networks. Just over
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.

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
and follow us on Twitter at @gwsolutionsinc.