Vol 36: Black and White with Shades of Grey - a benchmark study of the DISH Wireless network in Las Vegas

10/26/2023 | 69 pages
Price: $1,895.00

SRG just completed its 36th 5G benchmark study.  For this endeavor we collaborated with Accuver Americas, Rohde & Schwarz, and Spirent Communications to conduct an independent benchmark study of the DISH Wireless network in Las Vegas and how it compares with the T-Mobile 5G SA network.

Highlights of the Report include the following:

Our Thanks.  We did this study in collaboration with Accuver Americas (XCAL-M and XCAP), Rohde & Schwarz (TSMA6 scanner) and Spirent Communications (Umetrix Voice and Umetrix Data).  SRG is responsible for the data collection and all analysis and commentary provided in this report.

Our Methodology.  We used two Motorola edge+ smartphones and two Galaxy A23 smartphones to test the DISH network and two Galaxy S23 smartphones to test the T-Mobile network.  Using chipset diagnostic messages, we analyzed downlink and uplink performance, along with all the requisite underlying parameters.  We looked at aggregate results and band specific results with adjustments to account for differences in channel bandwidth and network loading (e.g., RB allocations). WIth Umetrix Voice, we analyzed 5G voice (VoNR) quality on the two networks while stationary and mobile.

Much better Downlink Performance.  Compared with the 2022 results, the downlink performance was much stronger in 2023, thanks to a combination of a denser cell grid, much better carrier aggregation performance during cell handovers, and the implementation of 3CC carrier aggregation.

Uplink Performance Suffered.  Consistent with our 2022 study, the uplink performance was subpar with the HTTP protocol at both the physical and application layers, falling well short of expectations.  With UDP, the performance was good / satisfactory.  We show what was causing the poor performance and the RF conditions most likely to trigger the outcome.

Better Voice Quality with Room for Improvement.  The highly erratic voice quality that we observed in 2022 [even while stationary] no longer exists.  Voice calls also remained on the DISH network versus falling back to AT&T – a frequent problem in 2022.  There is still room for improvement.  Arguably, the biggest benefit of VoNR is that the data connection remains on 5G.  At best, VoNR voice quality will be on par with VoLTE.

The Details.  It wouldn’t be a Signals Ahead report if we didn’t break down the results into all the underlying factors, including MCS, MIMO usage, RB allocations, performance as a function of CQI/SINR, etc.   Scanner results compare the coverage quality of the operator’s 5G spectrum assets.