Carriers are using mobile broadband as their weapon of choice in the fight against the commoditization of voice and falling ARPU. It is therefore imperative that carriers have networks which can consistently and reliably deliver good data performance to their customers.
This study is based on the data speed and latency measurements collected for 72 wireless carriers operating within 20 countries in North, South and Central America using a smartphone app. This approach has facilitated the collection of millions of individual test readings from hundreds of thousands of users who have conducted tests for virtually every mobile carrier in virtually every country in the world. Using these readings, ARCchart has been able to estimate averages for download speed, upload speed, latency and overall network quality, along with a measure of smartphone penetration.
This report shows there is wide variation in the network performance between carriers and there is a genuine risk that carriers which develop a reputation for inferior performance will suffer high churn and an overall loss of subscribers.
Topics of coverage include:
- Research methodology
- The importance of mobile broadband to carriers
- Theoretical versus real-world data speeds
- Analysis and comparison of the performance of country data networks
- Analysis and comparison of the performance of carriers' data networks
- Carrier network technology profiles
- The factors influencing a carrier’s 3G data speed
- Measuring the ‘quality’ of a network
- The problem of unreliable networks
- iPhone, Android and iPad carrier market share
- Country smartphone and tablet penetration
- Android OEM market share
Companies and organisations mentioned, discussed or reviewed include:
Telecom Personal Argentina
WIND Mobile Canada
ICE Costa Rica
Claro El Salvador
Digicel El Salvador
Movistar El Salvador
Tigo El Salvador
Iusacell CDMA Mexico
Cable & Wireless Panama
AT&T Puerto Rico
Claro Puerto Rico
Sprint Puerto Rico
T-Mobile Puerto Rico
US Cellular US
Answers and opinions are provided with respect to the following
- How does LTE throughput compare with HSPA+?
- Which carriers are big supporters of Android devices?
- Why should carriers be concerned about their network’s data performance?
- What is the average data speed observed in each country?
- How do the mobile broadband performance of CDMA and GSM networks compare?
- Which country has the best performing networks?
- How does HSPA+ impact data throughput?
- What is the average download, upload and latency supported by each carriers’ networks?
- Which are the carriers with the region's best performing broadband network?
- Where is iPad penetration highest?
- Which carriers are still reliant on GPRS and EDGE infrastructure?
- What are the applications and services driving demand for mobile broadband?