Mobile network benchmarking company RootMetrics this week put the spotlight on its most recent test results from three Southwestern cities: Phoenix, Arizona, and Dallas and Houston, Texas.

In Dallas, T-Mobile US gained ground and shared the award for overall performance, which Verizon previously held for four consecutive rounds of testing, according to RootMetrics. Network reliability was a three-way tie among Verizon, T-Mobile US and AT&T, with AT&T winning outright in the call performance category.

Verizon won the data performance award outright and also clocked the fastest median download and upload speeds: 42.1 Mbps and 18.2 Mbps. RootMetrics noted that Sprint made gains in speed improvement, with median download speeds increasing from 19.5 Mbps to 25.2 Mbps since the previous round of testing.

In Houston, Verizon swept RootMetrics’ awards for the sixth time. Interestingly, though, Verizon’s median download speed only reached 24.2 Mbps; T-Mobile US had the fastest median upload speed at 18.1 Mbps. Doug King, director of business development at RootMetrics, said in a statement that “Verizon has reigned over Houston for years, and it’s clear that the carrier is continuing to make network reliability a priority.”

Phoenix, meanwhile, continues to be a battleground between AT&T and Verizon, the test company said. The two tied in overall performance and network reliability, and were joined by T-Mobile US in a three-way tie for calling and texting performance. AT&T had the fastest recorded network speeds, with median download coming in at 41.4 Mbps and upload at 13.2 Mbps. But Sprint showed impressive gains in speed, nearly doubled its median download speed from 11 Mbps to 20.4 Mbps since the previous round of testing.

In other test news:

Rohde & Schwarz’s ipoque business this week launched new deep packet inspection capabilities for the virtualized Evolved Packet Core. The company said that the new DPI solution “offers vEPC vendors comprehensive signatures for video streaming, breakthrough efficiency, enhanced NAT and tethering detection and flexible licensing.” Ipoque said that three of the five leading VEPC vendors have integrated its R&S Pace 2 DPI offering.

The company cited numbers from Transparency Market Research projecting that the vEPC market will reach $15.9 billion by 2026, a compound annual growth rate of more than 36% from 2018, driven by the need to support SDN and NFV deployments.

In other news at R&S, the company has a new CEO of its Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity division. Falk Hermann took over as of Jan. 1; he previously served as CTO of Bosch Security Systems’ global security business unit.

EXFO has landed a deal worth $4.9 million with an undisclosed tier 1 U.S. operator, to support automation and network integration; the company also reported a net loss for the most recent financial quarter. Full story here.

Keysight Technologies launched of new entry-level oscilloscope models; the 200 MHz, 4-channel models in the InfiniiVision 1000 X-series use the same user interface and measurement technology as the high-performance InfiniiVision line, the company said.

Keysight also said that it recently signed a new purchasing framework agreement with the China Information and Communication Technology Group, centered largely around 5G technology development. Keysight said that the purchasing framework agreement includes its 5G test solutions, including channel emulators, signal generators, and signal analyzers. CICT was formed from the merger of Chinese wireless supplier Datang Telecom and optical communications infrastructure Fiberhome last year; Keysight had a previous 5G-focused collaboration that dates back to 2016.

-How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? Global Wireless Solutions had three testing teams out in Times Square, taking stock of the performance of mobile operators’ networks. Read more on that here. 

-Testing and inspection company TÜV SÜD America has made two recent leadership hires: the company appointed a new VP of product service, Jan-Paul van Maaren; and a new VP of human resources, Jobina Gonsalves. TÜV SÜD America has been adding to its leadership team recently; the company appointed Jasmine Martirossian as VP of marketing for the Americas, which includes TÜV SÜD’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil, in December.

PCTel has added signal-to-interference-plus-noise-ratio measurements to its automated, grid-based test offering for in-building public safety P25 networks. The company noted that SINR specifications are included in the latest International Fire Code as an indicator of signal quality. The company described the traditional testing method for SINR, Delivered Audio Quality, as “a time-consuming manual process that may lead to inconsistent results,” and said that its new SINR testing for P25 is “significantly more efficient, reliable, objective, and repeatable than DAQ testing.”

ZTE said it has successfully completed the third phase of China’s national 5G network core testing, aimed at verifying the maturity of its core network solution. Full story here. 


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