Sprint cites Ookla’s speed test data analysis; testing by P3

Sprint is touting its network upgrades and improved data performance in the New York City metro area, based on Ookla’s device-based Speedtest Intelligence data that relies on consumer-initiated cellular network tests, as well as testing by benchmarking firm P3. Sprint said that according to its analysis of Ookla’s data, its network in New York City improved from an average download speed of 16.9 Mbps in July 2017, to 29.2 Mbps in July 2018 — a speed improvement of more than 73% in a year.

“In the New York City metro area, including New Jersey and Connecticut, Sprint is adding new cell sites to expand coverage, upgrading existing ones to use all three spectrum bands (800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz), and adding thousands of inconspicuous small cells to densify … the network,” the carrier said in describing its local network upgrades.

Ookla concluded that based on its own data analysis in a July 2018 report, “Sprint has delivered the most improved download speeds over the past year. While still the slowest of the four major carriers, the gap between Sprint and AT&T has been closing. In some markets, Sprint customers are experiencing faster download speeds than those on any other carrier.”

Sprint still isn’t the fastest mobile network in the NYC metro area, according to Ookla’s testing — that spot goes to Verizon Wireless. (Sprint did come in first in a few markets such as Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Reno, Nevada.) RootMetrics’ drive testing in the NYC metro area in the first half of 2018, by comparison, still had Sprint in fourth place in terms of both network speed and data performance.

Sprint added that its “data performance has significantly improved in places like Sag Harbor, New York, where the company is able to reach a high density of its strand-mount 2.5 GHz small cells on existing cable infrastructure. Independent testing firm P3 found that Sprint now ranks #1 in data performance there following a dense deployment of this versatile solution across the town.”

According to the P3 testing report audit, which the test company noted was “managed in close cooperation with Sprint,” data testing of multiple cellular networks with a Samsung Galaxy S8 conducted on June 28 during 180 miles of outdoor drive-testing around Sag Harbor showed Sprint’s network with substantially better data performance in that area than three competitors. Test cases included file uploads and downloads, web browsing and accessing high-definition YouTube videos. Specific speeds were not reported, only networks’ performance on a scoring scale up to 360 points. Sprint’s Sag Harbor network scored 155 out of 360 while the closest competitor (identified only as carrier 2) scored 98 points.

Sprint reiterated its plans to launch 5G services in New York and eight other cities in 2019. The carrier said it has already begun deploying massive multiple-input multiple-output, which it called its “bridge to 5G,” in NYC; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; and Los Angeles, California.


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