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Top 10 US Malls Operator Benchmarking

Almost 80 percent of wireless traffic is generated indoors, and wireless operators are always struggling to penetrate better and provide connectivity to the end customer. Shopping malls are key locations for operators due to their heavy foot traffic. Coverage at public venues is critical for cellular networks and the quality of service has a significant impact on the wireless operator’s brand perception. For example, imagine you are in a big mall with hundreds of shops and you send a “Which shop are you in?” message to your spouse, only for it to fail – and now you have no idea where to go. Your first thought might be, “I need to change my wireless carrier!”

TeleWorld Solutions (TWS) wanted to assess which wireless operator can ensure their customers are connected and best served in the ten largest malls in the United States. With that in mind, TeleWorld Solutions created the TWS Top 10 US Malls Challenge. The company teamed up with M2 Catalyst, which gathers real user data through a crowdsourced data collection process. The user data is collected anonymously in the background through the various M2 Catalyst apps, throughout the day.

TWS performed in-depth research to see what operator provided the best 4G coverage in these challenging indoor locations. It compared T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T’s 4G coverage in the ten largest malls in the country, including Mall of American in Bloomington, MN, King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, PA, and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA.

After looking at the carriers’ signal strength, signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR), and “No Coverage” sample points, TWS concluded that T-Mobile provided the best 4G coverage to its users and had the best 4G coverage across five of the top ten malls the study covered. The carrier ranked first in five malls, while Verizon and Sprint both finished first in two malls apiece.

“If you look at how our lifestyle has evolved with wireless technologies, we need to be connected to the world everywhere,” TWS Senior VP Bhupinderjit Mann said. “We believe it’s important to assess the operators’ performance in the public venues, outdoors or indoors, just like shopping malls, which are an important part of our lifestyle where people are hanging out, going to the gym, and doing everything they want.” Bhupinderjit mentioned that TeleWorld will create more such studies targeting additional public venues which are critical to today’s generation and lifestyle.

In summary if you are a T-Mobile customer you should expect to have the best experience when visiting these shopping malls closely followed by Verizon customers. However, Sprint and AT&T fall a little short in providing the best connectivity to their customers. These results are based on over 6Million samples across 5Thousand unique devices covering 28Million square feet across these shopping malls. To Download this report go to TWS_study.pdf

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