How data speed varies.

A very brief post to share some curious findings on throughput data collected by our test app. 

While all our attention is usually directed at the maximum throughput, it may be interesting taking a look at the distribution of that throughput over a long period of time and a sizable panel of respondents.

The graph below shows the throughput distribution taken from one advanced 3G+4G network. A few hundred devices were running MyConnection, using the network normally and reporting data during one month. 

(Reminder: MyConnection is a Customer Experience Management app that measures throughput, latency, data loss, data usage, etc on the device, 24x7 and we use to report real mobile broadband customer experience independently from the network.)

  1. The top section depicts the distribution of sessions as per their maximum throughput. In plain language, how many connections peaked at 1 Mbps, 2 Mbps, etc... It is not surprising that most of the sessions are 'slow' - the app measures throughput 24x7 and most of the time the device is not that busy. 
  2. The middle section shows the distribution of the maximum daily throughput per customer, or how many days a customer experienced a maximum throughput of 5 Mbps, 10 Mbps, etc. The graph shows that throughput did not exceed 5Mbps in 77% of the occasions and this is quite something, considering that we take a very aggressive KPI such as maximum daily throughput.
  3. The bottom section shows how much time was spent at different throughput levels. Very similar to the top graph, 95% of the time, the connections were under 1Mbps.

Just like cars are parked 95% of the time, it seems our high speed networks are only punctually used at full speed. 

Note: As this is just one network, the results cannot be conclusive. If you are curious about your own experience, just distribute MyConnection among your colleagues and I'll be happy to take a look.