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GWS Study Finds 'Dramatic Growth' in Drive Test Demand
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June 29, 2009

GWS Study Finds 'Dramatic Growth' in Drive Test Demand

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Global Wireless Solutions has reported "dramatic growth" this past year in the demand for drive tests by wireless carriers as the number of mobile subscribers and demand for advanced broadband applications, like mobile video, continue to grow. 

We're talking a growing market even in the economic downturn, too. Mobile usage is growing significantly according to anyone's numbers - just to pick one, the top 10 U.S. mobile operators added nearly 3.5 million net retail subscribers in the first quarter of 2009, which brings the total subscribers to 278 million, according to "1Q Wireless Gross Subscriber Additions: Prepaid Carriers Continue to Grow," a recent report from IDC (News - Alert).

GWS officials say they've recently reached a milestone of sorts by driving more than 4 million miles around the U.S. to collect data and analyze how well wireless networks perform. Friends, that's going the extra mile a few million times. This "made it possible for GWS to build a third-party database of network performance statistics," company officials say, adding that the benchmarking data gathered, compiled and analyzed by GWS "gives its customers an unbiased view of their own network performance, as well as competitors' networks, as experienced by subscribers."
The company's test equipment products enable comparisons of wireless networks that use different voice and data access protocols, including GSM, UMTS, HSPDA and CDMA. The company has built on this experience to develop testing systems for upcoming 4G networks, with capabilities for assessing WiMax performance, officials say.

"Competitive and economic pressures, as well as more mobile users using sophisticated smart phones, have combined to make wireless carriers realize that it is even more critical now to know exactly how their networks perform in the field. That is the best way for them to ensure customer satisfaction and exceed expectations," says Paul Carter, president of GWS. "The drive tests we perform for wireless carriers are vital for benchmarking and measuring quality of service so they can take the necessary action to correct weaknesses in their network."

In April, TMC reported that Global Wireless Solutions announced the release of an iPhone (News - Alert) coverage application called TroubleSpots that lets the phone's users report, in real time, when they experience areas of no wireless network coverage, dropped calls, failed call attempts failed data service and view their reported incidents.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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