Network benchmarking firm Global Wireless Solutions recently evaluated mobile and Wi-Fi network performance in the New York City (NYC) subway system. GWS tested 67 stations where Transit Wireless has been deployed, making up a significant portion of the 21 subway lines in Manhattan.
GWS's carefully controlled tests examined a variety of metrics, including upload/download speeds and task attempts and completions. These tests ultimately determined at which stations commuters could expect to successfully connect to the city’s public transit Wi-Fi network, and the quality of experience (QoE) commuters can expect on each line.
GWS conducted these series of tests using the QualiPoc Freerider from SwissQual, a Rohde & Schwarz subsidiary specialising in mobile network testing. The Freerider — a portable benchmarking system — was equipped with Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones.
The Freerider was operated by a trained GWS engineer who conducted the assessment tests and obtained upload and download speeds from the packet data networks of Tier 1 carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Testing was conducted June to July 2015 at all stations and/or platforms with active Transit Wireless deployments in Manhattan up through 125th Street.
The NYC subway testing data reveals riders of the Q line receive the best overall service on mobile phones. The 4 line was by far the worst performing line for Wi-Fi connections, with just 2 out of 22 stations on the line (9%) having Wi-Fi available. In addition, the testing found that 6 of the sites had no detectable Wi-Fi signal.
Dr. Paul Carter, CEO at Global Wireless Solutions, said: "The City of New York has not been shy with its intentions to dramatically increase Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity for city dwellers and visitors over the past few years. In particular, it has begun an ambitious station-by-station deployment of Wi-Fi and select DAS networks with help from Transit Wireless in an effort to connect the millions of subway riders every day looking for service.
“The Rohde & Schwarz portable benchmarking solution enabled us to determine just how successful this rollout has been so far. GWS looks forward to working with Rohde & Schwarz in the next round of NYC subway W-iFi network testing to see the progress NYC and Transit Wireless has made."
NYC and Transit Wireless anticipate a complete rollout of Wi-Fi services to all 279 stations making up the city’s subway system by 2017.