Monday, December 30, 2013

T-Mobile and AT&T also Expand Service

Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Netbook 86 100 161
Phone 169 120 277
Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Netbook 71 73 154
Phone 101 175 267
Along with Sprint and Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T have also made improvements in the Fourth Round by adding the number of locations served by at least 6 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up. While T-Mobile experienced a hiccup downward in the Third Round for the locations their phone serves, AT&T has made steady progress. While T-Mobile has slightly more locations served than AT&T, AT&T has higher average speeds. This is likely due to the fact T-Mobile's coverage is more limited and concentrated while AT&T's is more spread out and diffuse. AT&T's higher average speed may also be explained by the fact that the maximum speed registered by AT&T LTE, 44.000 Mbps, is much higher than that reached by T-Mobile LTE at 33,000 Mbps. AT&T also has many locations where they just missed making the served threshold.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Verizon Phone Expands Network

In the third round of our state wide mobile broadband testing, the big story was the Verizon netbook which provided served speeds at 599 locations out of 1,200, a huge increase from the previous round. While the netbook expanded coverage to 640 locations in the fourth round, the big fourth round story is the improvement made by the Verizon phone which expanded from 392 locations to 592 locations. The Verizon phone's performance is catching up with their netbook performance.

Served Locations out of 1,200

Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Netbook 382 599 640
Phone 281 392 592

Sprint LTE is in Effect

The results of our fourth round of mobile testing are in and one of the biggest changes is Sprint coverage and speed in California. While in the third round, the Sprint netbook provided served speeds, 1.5 mpbs up and 6 down, in two locations out of 1,200 tested, in the fourth round the netbook provided served speeds in 67 out of 1,200 locations or more than five percent. While in the third round the Sprint phone provided served speeds in 5 out of 1,200 locations tested, in the fourth round the Sprint phone measured served speeds in 103 locations, which is almost ten percent.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

4th Round Field Testing Completed!

Our intrepid drive test team rose to the challenge of testing 790 additional locations across California, and all before Winter break. Results from the 1,990 test locations will be available by mid to late January, but we are happy to have observed first-hand large improvements in both Sprint and T-Mobile, as well as continued improvements in AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless speeds and latency.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's Cold Out There

Our mobile testers are finishing up their work this week. They will be done by Christmas where they will sit by the roaring fire regaling friends and family with tales of their mobile testing adventures.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tips on Public Feedback Survey

If you haven't heard that we are collecting information from you, the public, on your broadband service (or lack thereof), visit our web site, download the form, and send it in to us. Alternatively, you can fill out the survey online with the Interactive Map after using the address lookup tool.

Link to CPUC web site to download the survey

Link to the California Interactive Broadband Map

Here are some tips when filling out the survey.

1. It helps us if you claim to not have any broadband service that you first check the Interactive Map for your address and contact the providers listed for your address. Here is an example of where this did not happen. Notice there is no "current provider" listed.

2. Here is a list of providers who claim to serve this address. If we know that the resident was denied service because it wasn't available, then we have a strong case to counter a provider's claim of availability.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

April 2013 Field Test Result Findings Now Available

Without further delay, we finally published our findings from the April 2013 field test. The paper is called "Measuring Mobile Broadband in California, Round 3 Mobile Field Test Results, April 2013." Here is the link:

Mobile Field Testing Report - April 2013

T-Mobile Beats Verizon!

Mobile tester David Hugens experienced something unusual conducting his rounds. Mobile broadband behemoth was briefly dethroned by the plucky upstart T-Mobile. This test was conducted in the hills ten miles south of Antioch.

Monday, December 9, 2013

California - an LTE state of mind

Sure, both Verizon and AT&T have been operating LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks for over a year already, but now we've been able to capture LTE speeds on the remaining two major mobile carriers -- Sprint and T-Mobile. See table below with the fastest clocked upstream and downstream TCP speeds in this round of testing so far.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Latest Version of CalSPEED Now Available at Google Play

Our latest version of CalSPEED includes a provider address look-up function. Along with being able to test mobile speeds and keep a record of your results, this version includes a mobile viewer, with which you can click a point on the map and find which broadband providers offer service at your address for all types of technologies. Each time you use CalSPEED to conduct a speed test, the data from your test feeds into the state Interactive Broadband Map ( As of the end of September, intrepid citizens have conducted over 2,000 tests on this app and we would like to increase that number because it will increase the accuracy of our broadband validation efforts.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CalSPEED Around the World

Folks all over the world are testing their mobile broadband speeds with CalSPEED our mobile app for android phones that can be downloaded to your phone at Google Play. We have had 2,400 tests so far and we prefer folks conduct their tests in California, do it outside and not use CalSPEED to test their wifi. Be part of the CalSPEED glamour and excitement, it has international cache, download the app to your android and start testing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trying to Finish Fourth Round by Chistmas

We are almost done with the fourth Round of mobile field testing. We have completed 82 percent of our scheduled tests at 1,990 locations. Our fourth Round has been particularly ambitious because we added 790 locations. With the increased testing, the fourth Round results promise to be more statistically significant than previous rounds.

So far, we have seen some improvements in all of the providers' peformances. Sprint started strong but for the past few weeks has slowed a bit. T-Mobile has also experienced some rough patches with slow speeds, while Verizon has continued to improve their network by generating high mobile broadband speeds in some surprisingly remote locations. 

Here is to more fuel to finish the job.