Over all technologies, during the Super Bowl, Verizon outscored the other carriers’ mobile download speeds, according to Speedtest by Ookla, coming in 143.7 percent faster than second-place T-Mobile. Sprint had the third fastest mean download speed and AT&T brought in the rear.
“We compared the big four U.S. mobile operators from two hours prior to kick-off to 30 minutes after the game ended to see who won,” wrote Isla McKetta, head of content at Ookla. “Focusing on their 5G game really helped Verizon take the day when considering overall speeds,” as its mean download speed was 297.18 Mbps, compared with T-Mobile at 121.93 Mbps.
T-Mobile brought home the LTE performance trophy with the fastest mean download speed, 66.35 Mbps, followed by Sprint with 56.16 Mbps, AT&T at 39.18 Mbps and Verizon at 30.67 Mbps.
“T-Mobile’s mean upload speed over all technologies was far better than competitors’. Upload speed is especially important at big events like this as fans try to share their game day experience with those not in the stadium,” McKetta wrote.
If you look at mean upload speed, Big Magenta tripled Verizon’s effort with 30.34 Mbps. And, when it came to the lowest latency kudos, T-Mobile came in first at 26.0 percent faster (34 milliseconds) than second-place AT&T, followed by Sprint and then Verizon, according to Speedtest by Ookla.
Massive Amounts of Data Flows Over Wireless Systems
With those types of speeds on Verizon’s network, attendees were able to use 21.5 Terabytes (TB) of data in and around the stadium versus 20.5 TB in 2019, 18.8 TB in 2018 and 11 TB in 2017. The carrier noted that previous Super Bowls had more seating.
With these types of speeds and the crowd assembled at the Miami stadium on Sunday, a lot of data flowed. Fans used more than 10.2 TB of data on AT&T’s network. Additionally, more than 14.5 TB of data crossed the carrier’s network within a 2-mile radius of the stadium on Sunday.
Mobile traffic within a 2-mile radius of game-related events, Jan. 25 through Feb. 2, AT&T users totaled more than 172 TB of mobile data, during fan festivals, concerts, the game and other activities, according to AT&T.
Cutting-edge Technology Comes Through
There was no shortage of the latest and greatest wireless technology deployed In and around the stadium and the Miami area, adding a variety of spectrum bands not commonly used at a Super Bowl, such as 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 2.5 GHz and even 3.5 GHz.
Sprint deployed Massive MIMO radios using 2.5 GHz spectrum and “split-mode” feature that enabled simultaneously delivery of LTE service and 5G for customers. The carrier also provided 4G/5G dual connectivity within the stadium, transmitting 4G over a DAS with more than 1,800 antennas and 5G through Massive MIMO radios, providing the equivalent of 10 macro cell towers at the stadium.
Inside the stadium, the AT&T upgraded its portion of the DAS adding 5G+ millimeter wave spectrum and 700 MHz Band 14 frequencies to provide more 300 percent more LTE capacity than what was available at the start of the football season.
Outside the stadium, AT&T upgraded or installed DAS networks at 29 additional locations throughout the Miami area.
T-Mobile more than doubled LTE capacity at the stadium to enhance indoor capacity at venues throughout Miami. Additionally, T-Mobile claimed to have the biggest 5G network in Miami, with 600 MHz band deployed on macrotowers and newly deployed mmWave 5G.
Verizon said it invested more than $80 million dollars to enhance its coverage in and around the stadium and the greater Miami area, which included laying more than 230 miles of fiber, adding capacity to more than 280 existing cell sites, installing 5G nodes to the NFL Super Bowl venues and events, installing 30 in-building wireless systems.
If you look at Verizon’s marketing and public relations efforts surrounding the Big Game, the carrier wasn’t focused on fan-based social media outbursts. It seemed be focused on impressing public safety users.
“Verizon is on the ground in Miami working hand-in-hand with first responders, local and state government agencies to help keep everyone connected during the big game,” Maggie Hallbach is vice president of state, local and education sales, Verizon.