Global Wireless Solutions Report: Dulles International Airport Connectivity is First Class

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GWS OneScore Data Reveals Quality of Service Travelers Can Expect from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

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Leading independent network benchmarking specialists Global Wireless Solutions, Inc. (GWS) today reveal how well-prepared Dulles International Airport is to support travelers looking to connect to their wireless operators. Overall, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, performed well in terms of data speeds and task success rates while Sprint was not as robust.    

Using rigorous testing procedures, GWS network specialists evaluated the mobile network performance of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon in an effort to assess what kind of experience travelers can expect while passing through the airport. The main airport areas—baggage claim, check-in area and Gates A-D—were then ranked using OneScore, a performance metric developed by GWS that considers both in-depth network testing data and an understanding of how consumers are using their mobile devices (based on a third-party survey vetting the sentiments of 5,000 US adult mobile phone users). GWS ranked each area according to overall data performance (considering reliability of completed tasks and average throughputs for all data-related actions) and social media performance (measuring reliability of completed tasks and speed related to social media activities such as uploading a photo to Instagram, posting to Facebook, and sending a Snapchat).

When measuring overall performance of the carriers throughout Dulles International Airport, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon were tied for the best overall OneScore ranking with Sprint following behind. T-Mobile performed most favorably throughout the airport when looking specifically at the social media OneScore ranking, AT&T was second with Verizon and Sprint third and fourth respectively.

Other key findings include the following:

  • When measuring potential capacity download throughputs, AT&T ranked the highest at Gates C and D while Verizon had the highest at all other areas tested (check-in, baggage claim and Gates A and B). This means that AT&T and Verizon networks were capable of delivering the highest speeds to customers located in those particular areas of the airport. On average, Verizon had the highest potential capacity download, roughly 31 Mbps, throughput the airport.
  • When looking at streaming activities such as a watching YouTube or a video on Facebook, AT&T had the best performance throughout the airport averaging nearly 15 Mbps including the highest speeds at the baggage claim area and Gates C and D ranging from 16 to 21 Mbps.
  • T-Mobile had the best performance with large task uploads simulating the posting of a Facebook video. T-Mobile averaged 10 Mbps throughout the airport including the highest speed of 13 Mbps at the baggage claim area.

Dr. Paul Carter, CEO of Global Wireless Solutions, commented: “Record numbers of travelers were predicted this holiday season; it’s critical to see if wireless operators and the airports themselves are taking the necessary steps to support the increase in demand from travelers accessing critical information on their phones such as tickets, schedules, last minute emails and text messages; not to mention the temptation to document their entire adventure on their social channels. Dulles International Airport was right in our backyard and an ideal first airport to kick off our latest round of airport testing. Overall the airport receives a passing grade -- collectively, carrier networks were able to successfully complete tasks at reasonable speeds throughout the main airport areas while individually, carriers experienced some variability in performance depending on which gate or service area was tested."


Throughout the day on Thursday, November 17, 2016, approximately 3,400 data tests were conducted to evaluate network performance of Tier 1 carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) at baggage claim, the check-in area, and Gates A-D at Dulles International Airport. The tests were conducted using Rohde & Schwarz’s SwissQual QualiPoc Freerider with four LG G4 smartphones, one registered for each carrier.

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About Global Wireless Solutions, Inc.
Global Wireless Solutions, Inc. defines the industry standard for network benchmarking, analysis and testing. Working with some of the world’s largest wireless network providers, GWS offers standardized, high-quality network data and engineering analysis to its customers through a suite of benchmarking products, services, and diagnostic apps that includes drive, venue, and in-building testing.

Firmly rooted in a deep understanding of network engineering, GWS provides best-in-class, turnkey solutions to help customers better understand overall network performance as today’s wireless networks grow and evolve. Founded in 1996, GWS is headquartered in Dulles, VA. At last count, GWS has driven 10.5 million data collection miles for its customers. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at @gwsolutionsinc.

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