Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint, who did Super Bowl best?

T-Mobile is at it again, dissing rival carriers' speeds that could be achieved by the Super Bowl attendants on Sunday. It posted the above chart, courtesy of Ookla's Speedtest, which shows it clearly ahead in the game, so to speak. 

Verizon, however, boasted in its turn that 57% of the attending have been its subscribers, and in and around the stadium the record breaking 18.8 TB of data were used on Sunday. Verizon scoffed at T-Mobile's "fastest network" claims, as its VP of network support Mike Haberman suggested that the small sample size means the results aren’t trustworthy:

Needless to say, T-Mobile replied that it hasn't messed with the numbers, but Verizon had its own testing to showcase, that of the P3 engineering team that Big Red employed to conduct real-life testing with four iPhone 8s, hooked up to the big four US carrier networks. The folks from P3 did 350 test points in and around the stadium, and had Verizon beating AT&T with average speeds of 61 Mbps vs 56.9 Mbps, while T-Mobile came in third place with 40 Mbps on average. 

More than half of the phones on the stadium had to be served by Verizon, which could explain the difference in speeds with T-Mobile's crowdsourced measurements. Moreover, an independent analysis by research firm Tutela, which plugs into third-party speed test apps, also corroborates Verizon's story, putting it at the top of average speeds in and around the stadium.

Sprint also chimed in, but instead of average speeds, it listed data usage peaks, and a breakdown of the ways people consumed the 9.7 TB of data it logged on its network during the Super Bowl. Long story short, a lot of posts, pictures and videos were uploaded, played, or shared during the Super Bowl on all carriers, the networks survived the data onslaught, but consumption was way, way up on all, compared even to last year's event, let alone a few years back. Sign of the times.

source: T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, Tutela
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