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Study: Comcast’s hotspots top AT&T, Boingo

Mon, 08/12/2013 - 12:22pm
Mike Robuck

According to a recent study by Allion USA, Comcast’s public hotspots were faster than AT&T and Boingo Wireless’ hotspots by a significant margin.

The study across four cities found that Comcast’s Xfinity WiFi hotspots had faster download speeds an up to three times faster upload speeds. The study didn’t include Verizon and T-Mobile hotspots because the number of available hotspots were significantly less than Comcast, AT&T and Boingo’s.

Allion noted that Boingo’s hotspot distribution map included third-party hotspots operated by other vendors, which lowered the number of Boingo Wireless hotspots that were available for testing.

The study was conducted in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco using six different Wi-Fi enabled devices: iPhone 5, laptops from Acer and Apple, Galaxy SIII smartphones,  iPads,  and Google Nexus 10 tablets.

The study found that AT&T and Boingo Wireless hotspots appeared to be limited in downlink throughput and showing a range of 1-4 Mbps and rarely exceeding 5 Mbps. By contrast, Comcast hotspots had a higher throughput frequently exhibiting 10 plus Mbps and 20 plus Mbps on occasion.

Although the uplink throughput was comparable between the providers, Comcast still exhibited up to three times faster throughput than others. The trend of Comcast outperforming its competitors was observed across all six devices in all four cities that were surveyed.  

“These test results further underscore our ongoing commitment to provide customers with the best and fastest Internet experience possible—no matter how and where they choose to connect,” Comcast’s Tom Nagel, senior vice president, business development in Internet, wrote on a company blog post.

During The Cable Show earlier this year, Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks announced that collectively their subscribers had access to more than 150,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the nation through their Cable WiFI roaming partnership. 

Also at The Cable Show, Comcast announced it planned to turn up millions of neighborhood Wi-Fi hotspots by allowing subscribers to access a separate SSID on in-home customer gateways. 

The neighborhood hotspots represented the third leg of Comcast’s Wi-Fi strategy. Metro hotspots, which hang on Comcast’s strands, have been enabled in about eight markets to date with more on the way. Through Comcast Business, retail businesses, such as coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and other merchants, can offer Wi-Fi services to their customers.

 

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