Every New Yorker has experienced the frustration that comes with being unable to use your phone underground.
In recent years, cell phone carriers in partnership with the MTA have done a lot to remedy this annoyance, but we’re still far away from being able to use our phones and tablets seamlessly underground.
Global Wireless Solutions Inc. (GWS), a company that creates benchmark systems and tests for wireless services, decided to test each subway line in New York to see which ones maintained the strongest internet connections.
Using one of their homegrown benchmarks, GWS tested the wireless connections across all four major carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T on the city’s most traveled subway lines.
The company averaged the success rates of each carrier when it came to completing mobile tasks such as downloading and uploading content while underground.
More than 30 subway stops in New York City already have cellular Wi-Fi service. The MTA plans to continue working with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Boingo Wireless to bring connectivity to all the remaining subway stops in New York City within four years.
GWS only tested areas within Manhattan that experience the most commuter traffic, so the results only reflect certain areas on each subway route. The company particularly focused its testing on lower Manhattan, and mentioned that most of the stops included in the study were cited as some of the busiest stops in statistics from the MTA.
Here are how various subway lines compared ranked from best to worst according to GWS’ results.
1. 7 Train (Times Square to Grand Central) — 74% success rate
2. E Train (50th St. to Lexington Ave./53rd St.) — 52% success rate
3. 6 Train (28th St. to Grand Central) — 35% success rate
4. B, D Trains (Columbus Circle to Grand St.) — 23% success rates
5. 1 Train (Columbus Circle to South Ferry) — 20% success rate
6. A, C Trains (Columbus Circle to Fulton St.) — 16% success rates
7. L Train (8th Ave. to 1st Ave.) — 15% success rate
8. 2, 3 Trains (Chambers St. to Wall St.) — 14% success rates
9. J, Z Trains (Delancey St. to Broad St.) — 12% success rate
10. (Tied) E Train (Canal St. to World Trade Center);
N, Q, R Trains (Lexington Ave/59th St. to South Ferry) — 11% success
11. F Train (Lafayette St. to East Broadway) — 8% success rate