We conducted a network benchmark study of SK Telecom’s LTE-A 225 Mbps network in Seoul, South Korea in early August. For this study we leveraged the Accuver XCAL-Solo and XCAL-Mobile to collect chipset diagnostic information in order to analyze network performance.
KEY OBSERVATIONS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
- The downlink throughput was second to none.
- We downloaded nearly 400 GB of data and observed a median data rate of 98.9 Mbps, but the observed data rates get even better after we adjust the throughput for the amount of network resources required to achieve the observed speeds.
- The benefits of carrier aggregation were apparent since the implied spectral efficiency across both bands was higher than it was in each individual carrier.
- To some extent the performance of the uplink was even more impressive given that the measured throughput was seemingly impervious to the underlying network conditions – the network conditions were always too favorable to degrade the performance.
- Although we confirmed that the benefits of a Cat 6 device does translate into higher data rates, the potential for higher data speeds does not always equate to a better user experience.
- It was also encouraging to observe that streaming higher video formats (e.g., HD versus SD) can have an insignificant impact on the estimated battery life.