Verizon Not Yet Breaking a Sweat Over iPhone Traffic


Verizon’s network is doing fine under the additional strain of new iPhones, according to research performed by web application performance firm Compuware Gomez. In fact, Verizon’s mobile data performance is virtually the same as it was before the iPhone’s introduction.

Compuware Gomez performed data performance measurements for data performance on the Verizon network during the first four days of iPhone availability (Feb. 10-13). The iPhone went on sale at Verizon beginning Feb. 10, but pre-sales began on Feb. 3, and many customers had working iPhones in their hands by the time Feb. 10 arrived. Some estimates put Verizon iPhone pre-sales at as many as 500,000 units, and the number of users switching to Verizon from AT&T specifically for the iPhone are thought to be somewhere between 70 and 100,000. Verizon may not have seen the long lines on launch day many expected, but Compuware Gomez estimates that between 500,000 and 700,000 new iPhone users were accessing the Verizon network during its initial few days of availability. In theory, that could translate to increased demand, although that those numbers are spread out across the nation and include existing customers might mitigate the effect.

The wireless data performance analysis unit of Compuware Gomez gathers its data from a network of actual device end-users that numbers in the thousands, located across the U.S. These users provide everyday usage data that accurately reflects what the average Verizon iPhone owner would be experiencing in terms of browsing and page-load times, which is how the firm measures performance. Compuware CTO of APM Solutions Imad Mouline sums up the results:

We’re just four days in, but our measurements show that real-world data users on Verizon Wireless are experiencing no noticeable performance degradation due to the influx of new iPhone users on the network.

iPhone users have been shown to be data-hogs when it comes to mobile bandwidth (though Android users have recently been shown to be even more so), so it comes as a small surprise that Compuware found virtually no change (four-tenths of 1 percent) in performance following the Verizon iPhone’s introduction, as compared to a sample taken during a four-day period the week before. Verizon might just have a network that’s better equipped to handle rapid growth, or maybe the bandwidth throttling it’s using to limit network congestion is having the desired effect. Kevin predicted that the introduction of the iPhone wouldn’t significantly affect Verizon network performance, but it’s still quite early to make any definitive conclusions.

Obviously, it’s early days yet, but the results so far from Compuware Gomez seem to indicate that Verizon is having a much better time handling iPhone customers than AT&T. We’ll see if that continues to be the case as Verizon’s share of the iPhone market continues to grow. Gene Munster, for example, sees sales of 1.5 million iPhones for this quarter, with many more to follow as the year proceeds. The strain on Verizon’s network could be just getting started.

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