The Mother of all Network Benchmark Studies - Volume 4

The Mother of all Network Benchmark Studies - Volume 4

How Not to Spend Your Summer (and Winter) Vacation Volume 4. Detailed Performance Analysis (the HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA edition)

01/31/2012 | 70 pages
Price: $1,495.00

HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA network and vendor-specific performance evaluation

In our fourth and final installment of our network benchmark study, we provide detailed analysis on HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA network performance as exemplified by deployments in the United States. The operator focus is on AT&T and T-Mobile and the vendor focus is on Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson, and Nokia Siemens Networks.

This report was done in collaboration with Accuver, who provided us with access to its unique suite of network benchmarking tools.


  • With one vendor’s implementation, our test dongle frequently dropped the secondary carrier for the duration of the test, thereby relegating DC-HSDPA to a single HSPA+ carrier.
  • One vendor had extreme difficulty maintaining throughput during a cell handover, instead there were extended periods where the throughput was essentially zero.
  • One vendor’s infrastructure had resource limitations, which artificially reduced the throughput from what it could otherwise have been.
  • We documented a huge disparity between the reported CQI values and the network assignment of 64QAM. Ultimately, this disparity had a dramatic impact on how frequently 64QAM was used and it impacted the throughput across the spectrum of CQI values (e.g., 0-30).
  • After normalizing the MAC-HS throughput to an ’empty network” by adjusting the scheduling rate and number of code assignments, we are able to demonstrate that one vendor’s solution delivered measurably higher throughput than its peers – a conclusion that we validated through other means.