GWS: Network testing shows AT&T 'most reliable' during Pope's Philly visit

According to new findings from network testing firm Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), AT&T (NYSE: T) provided the most reliable service during Pope Francis' two-day tour of Philadelphia. "The other networks fared well but overall AT&T had the best performance," the firm said.

Based on 4,000 task tests across AT&T, T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) networks Sept. 26-27 using GWS' Android Speed App on Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphones, AT&T had the highest reliability compared to T-Mobile and Verizon, with more than a 99 percent task reliability when testing photo upload and download speeds and webpage download speeds. The firm also found AT&T had the lowest latency when compared to T-Mobile and Verizon at just 97 milliseconds, 22 percent faster than the next best carrier. GWS said AT&T had the highest browser throughputs during the parade, 68 percent higher than the next best carrier. Release

(It's probably worth noting that GWS didn't test Sprint's (NYSE: S) network, and didn't test speeds with newer phones that may support additional spectrum bands for the carriers.)

Interestingly, AT&T reported that the total data usage on its network in Philly during the Pope's visit was 12.6 TB. "On our outdoor Distributed Antenna System (oDAS) covering the Benjamin Franklin Parkway -- mobile data traffic was approximately 12x greater than the average weekend," said AT&T's John Donovan in a post about the event.

Of course, AT&T invested significantly in its coverage for the event. CNBC reported the carrier spent $23 million on its network in Philadelphia to prepare for the pope's visit.