In a new study of real-world streaming over 4G wireless networks for streaming video, AT&T rated top of the list.

With more than half of its bandwidth consumed by video, AT&T seems to have designed its systems to support mobile cord-cutters.

Benchmarking company Global Wireless Solutions sent its techs across the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The techs logged about 400,000 miles as they used special equipment to measure each carrier’s streaming performance.

The tests used YouTube’s 4K video streams and looked at how long it took for videos to load, the video quality while streaming, how often video froze and how reliably the video stream performed.

Streams running over AT&T Wireless completed 98% of the time and froze less than 1% of the time.

GWS CEO Paul Carter explained that his company conducted the test to highlight the performance gap between carriers.

“Mobile video streaming is due to drive a 7x increase in mobile data traffic by 2023…. Considering that mobile networks are underpinning a revolution in how consumers watch TV and video, this gap should be watched closely.”

Video-centric Wireless

AT&T responded with a corporate blog post from the executive in charge of mobility and entertainment, Vince Torres. “Video traffic now makes up over half of our mobility traffic,” Torres explained. “We expect video traffic growth to outpace overall data growth in 2020.”

Torres pointed out that subscribers to AT&T’s unlimited data plans get HBO included for the life of their subscription. What he didn’t mention were the changes underway at AT&T’s live TV streaming service, DirecTV Now. Later this spring, DirecTV Now will be able to stream 4K Ultra HD video content.