Utah Mobile Broadband ‘Drive Test’ Data Available for Download

Pete CodellaBroadband

In July 2011, the Utah Broadband Project contracted with Isotrope LLC, a Massachusetts-based company, to perform a drive test to assess wireless broadband services and capabilities throughout the state. (View the Test Plan document.)

The drive test data, collected by traversing over 6000 miles of the state (see map below), provides a snapshot in time of mobile broadband speeds, signal strength and technologies. Additionally, the data can be used to illustrate voice phone service availability.

Roads selected for drive testing

Isotrope tested CDMA, EVDO, GSM, GPRS/EDGE/UMTS, HSPA and LTE technologies by using comparable smartphones from 6 different national carriers. The drive test will be used to assist in verification of provider-submitted mobile wireless coverage data and will present a better picture of real-time user experience.

Example of signal strength for one provider in suburban Salt Lake City

Signal strength is dependent on tower location, and congestion in the area.  The higher the dBm, the better the signal.

Example of downlink/uplink speeds for one provider in suburban Salt Lake City

Speeds are dependent on several factors, including signal strength, technology type, transaction level, and congestion in the area.

Data is available for download in .csv format (115 Mb). Metadata is included in Excel files named Isotrope File Structure 20110802.xlsx and Look-up Tables.xlsx. If you would like to access this data in GIS shapefile format, please email bgranberg@utah.gov.