T-Mobile wins 5G availability award in new report on 5G networks in the US

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T-Mobile recently touted that its 5G network covers nearly 6,000 cities and towns, and so it should come as no surprise that in a new report on 5G networks in the US, T-Mo came out on top for availability.

Opensignal today released its 5G User Experience Report for the US, which marks the first time that the group has handed out awards for 5G coverage in the US. T-Mobile took home the 5G Availability award, with its customers spending 22.5% of their time connected to a 5G signal.

That’s quite a bit higher than the second place carrier, Sprint, whose customers spend 14.1% of their time connected to 5G. Next up is AT&T, whose customers are connected to a 5G signal 10.3% of the time. And then there’s Verizon customers, who spend just 0.4% of their time connected to 5G.

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T-Mobile has placed a heavy focus on 5G availability, launching its nationwide 5G network in late 2019 that utilized low-band 600MHz spectrum. Those 600MHz airwaves aren’t nearly as fast as high-band millimeter wave spectrum, but can reach much farther and penetrate buildings better. Verizon has only deployed mmWave 5G in parts of 35 cities to date, which explains the 5G Availability score that it got in today’s report.

It also explains why Verizon was far and away the winner for 5G Download Speeds in this new Opensignal report. Verizon finished with an average 5G download speed of 494.7Mbps, which is 17.7 times faster than Verizon customers’ average 4G speeds.

Coming in second for the 5G Download Speed award is AT&T with 60.8Mbps. Then there’s Sprint followed by T-Mobile, posting an average 5G download speed of 49.5Mbps and 49.2Mbps, respectively.

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While T-Mo came in last in this report for 5G speeds, the carrier has been working to improve them. Thanks to the completion of the Sprint merger, T-Mobile has begun deploying 2.5GHz spectrum for 5G which has lead to a boost in 5G speeds in those markets. A recent report found that average 5G speeds had doubled after T-Mo activated 2.5GHz alongside 600MHz in Philadelphia, and average 5G download speeds grew nearly 20Mbps after 2.5GHz 5G went live in New York City.

Finally, there’s the Download Speed Experience — 5G Users award, which takes into account the average 3G, 4G, and 5G download speeds that 5G users get as well as the time they spend connected to each network.

AT&T and Verizon are statistically tied for this award, with AT&T getting 42.6Mbps and Verizon getting 41.0Mbps. While AT&T’s 5G speed isn’t nearly as fast as Verizon’s, AT&T was helped in this category by its fast 4G speeds and the amount of time AT&T customers spend connected to 5G.

T-Mobile came in third in this category with 33.7Mbps while Sprint finished fourth with 28.2Mbps.

This report gathered data from 2.4 million devices that took nearly 16 million measurements between March 16th and June 13th.

Source: Opensignal

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  • Jason Caprio

    Of course T-Mobile is going to win availability because it’s on 600MHz spectrum. But they slap the 5G label on it because of the technology. Averaging less than 50mbit/sec for 5G is laughable. Feels like the same deception T-Mobile and AT&T did 10 years ago with their “4G” HSPA+. Although AT&T is still pulling those lies with their fake “5G E”. In T-Mobile’s defense, at least the 600MHz is true 5G NR.

    • WONDROUS5000

      But they slap the 5G label on it because of the technology.

      Like, yeah. 5G is a technology, not a speed. Considering the only carrier with >60mbps is less than 1% reliable, I don’t know if “laughable” is fair.

      • The point is, it’s not really creating a real advantage in terms of performance. Call it what you like, the technology is indeed “5g” but it’s not creating any performance advantage.

        • slybacon

          Please provide us with the “performance advantages” that you were promised with 5G.

      • slybacon

        Haha perfectly said.

    • marque2

      HSPA+ at least had similar speeds to Verizon LTE. This 5g most of the time is the exact same speed as 4g on my phone, and the LTE band discovery tools are showing I am on band 4 which allegedly doesn’t have 5g

  • Jay Holm

    Uhh… whatever, it has been THREE FULL MONTHS since the merger closed, and only 2 cities have 2.5ghz Band 41 5G. Wake up T-Mobile! 3 months is a long time not to have any new deployments.

    • WONDROUS5000

      T-Mobile had an entire workforce and customer base to support through a pandemic, and they did an incredible job. I think a little slack is necessary here, especially considering how far ahead they already are in low-band.

    • I think it’s reasonable to expect it was going to take a good amount of time.

    • slybacon

      2 cities is all they have told you about. Nice jumping to conclusions.

    • slybacon

      See new article. I rest my case.

    • Shaun Michalak

      and 1 day later, you get an article that states 3 more cities just went live with 2.5ghz 5G in the cities.. Now where are your comments and complaints about them doing nothing.. You spoke too soon I guess.. Doesn’t it suck when the very next day that you complain about someone not doing something, they prove you wrong that they have been doing something?

  • (J²)

    Truthfully, it doesn’t matter how available 5G is if it’s not actually 5G or even above and beyond current technology. I’d rather a slower roll out to ensure we have true 5G not a 4G branded as 5G.

    The same thing they initially did with 4G… They boosted capacity for 3G and rebranded as 4G.

    • Jacob

      Problem with this is that T-Mobile actually is using 5G, just not the waste of time MMwave implementation that works for ~100 feet and can be blocked by the leaves on a tree. When 2.5Ghz is more common I’ll be satisfied.

    • Shaun Michalak

      The way I look at it, they roll out 5G on the towers, and it is easier to just add more frequency later, then to add frequency and switch over to 5G at the same time.. So already having 5G on the towers should make rollouts faster once they add 5G on the towers with the extra spectrum.

    • WONDROUS5000

      absolutely not the same thing in any way. n71 meets the FCC’s definition of 5G, unlike AT&T’s “5Ge” and uses aggregation that LTE does not.

      • (J²)

        That doesn’t change the fact the true 5G isn’t being provided by anyone… and we may not even get to a point where it is.

        • WONDROUS5000

          are you calling mmw “true 5g?”

        • (J²)

          Did you read a comment where I stated that?

        • WONDROUS5000

          BROOOOOOOOO what do you consider “true 5g” is my question

        • The issue at hand is not what technology it is, it’s wether it’s cruelly creating an advantage. The answer is no.

        • slybacon

          Amen!!

        • slybacon

          What is true 5G in your definition book? Also, there is nothing “above and beyond’ current technology (5G). Not sure what you’re asking for here. Sounds like a protest that just goes in circles.

        • (J²)

          That doesn’t even make sense.

          You can use new technology all you want but if there’s no capacity or capability of actually using it, it shouldn’t be marked at 5G which does have theoretical download speeds, which these don’t come close. In fact, these download speeds can be achieved with 4G with older devices now.

          Let’s not act like we don’t know what that means…

          The last thing we need is 3 carriers going around marketing 5G with current 4G download speeds.

          Unfortunately, we live in the real world and that’s all I can speak to. I’m sorry if that comes across as a protest that goes in circles.

        • slybacon

          No, let’s do act like we don’t know what that means, cause we don’t know what you mean!!! What speeds constitute 5th Generation cellular?

        • (J²)

          Google it!

        • slybacon

          Googled it. All you are seeing are peak THEORETICAL speeds. Theoretical means in theory they can be achieved, but not in real life.
          However, I couldn’t find any peer reviewed articles for minimum 5th Gen speeds. Could you tell me what the minimum 5th Gen speeds are?!?!?!?!

        • riverhorse

          Your manners are really abrasive, did you drop your baby bottle and now can’t pick it up?
          5g is just beginning, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You make yourself sound ridiculous by whining about speeds so early on.
          5g is there- if only initially, it may fluctuate come and go not reach everywhere not penetrate all buildings.
          You can call it slower than top speed- again, while sounding petulant- but not false advertising.

        • (J²)

          If you can type an ignorant response you can also perform a Google search. Choice is yours!

        • slybacon

          Hahahaha. And if you don’t know the answer, just say “I don’t know.” And if you don’t know how to teach, then you should stop commenting!!
          I’m a former naval nuclear engineer and current seismic engineering. I think I know how to read, learn, and understand.

        • Edgar

          You have to understand the technology first to then formulate your arguments.

          T-Mobible 5G on 600mhz does meet 5G NR standard.

          You talk about building it slow. Actually they are doing it slow. They deployed the low band first and then will slowly add 2.5 and 1700 mhz with more capacity. That will take time. The others are way back in that regard.

          Here in PR I have seen 300 to 400 mbps speeds in with 5G.

          The fact is that they are building parts of the 5G with it been live. When DSS comes it will be much better

        • (J²)

          Thanks but I do understand the technology.

          Not a single response has challenged what I’ve stated.

          I understand people are in front of their keyboards due to COVID but this isn’t really productive.

          The facts are 5G is “available” in many markets and to those outside of the tech world, they truly expect it to exponentially outpace 4G, which unfortunately we aren’t there yet.

          Again, I’m not speaking to the technology aspect. I’m speaking to the false advertising that’s occurring.

          False advertisement is false advertisement. “oh no, but you have to understand the details” hasn’t worked in the past, it won’t work now.

        • Mike

          You are lucky in PR as far as the networks goes, since they had to rebuild the network after the hurricane. Id guess you have 5g over the whole island? Glad you got good speeds. It will only get better.

        • Mike

          I believe the speed of 5g should be at 500 meg and above on speed, with 1 gig being the average. Being just over 100 meg is good for 4g LTE, not 5g. Of course 5g will need carrier aggregation.

        • slybacon

          Nice! I would totally join your network!
          LTE goes all the way down to 1 Mbps, and lower.

        • Mike

          Well I guess 5g could go all the way down to 1 mbps as well? But I’ll stick to saying 5g should be at a point around 500 meg and higher. Of course carriers love to throttle there networks, so I’d guess 5g will be throttled too. We need net neutrality brought back to end this game of throttling and prioritizing.

        • slybacon

          It sure could! 5G isn’t a speed, it’s a technology allowing for lower latency, more connected devices, etc. The reason why many think it’s a speed thing is cause Verizon and AT&T got you thinking about mmWave spectrum which is extremely fast, but sucks on coverage. Technically, mmWave spectrum could be used in 4G LTE as well as 5G with updated LTE standards (which is essentially what 5G is, simply the next step in wireless tech) hence “generation”

        • Mike

          Well tied to the standard also is that 5g is suppose to be 100 times faster than that of 4G technology. So it’s easy to add it up and say that 5g should be faster than 100 or 200 mbps. easily. It will be 4×4 mimo and carrier aggregation that will bring faster speeds.

        • slybacon

          That’s referring to latency. But mmWave could have download speeds 100 times faster than LTE. It all depends on the frequency the data travels on.

        • Mike

          5g will be a slow roll out, with rural areas taking the longest. I did find on google and how to be geek that said “4G tops out at a theoretical 100 megabits per second, while 5G tops out at 10 gigabits per second.” So can anything over 100 megabits mean 5g? I guess that’s the take on it. Of course over time it will only get better.

        • marque2

          My record for 4g is 180mbps.

          You have a point. The 4g consortium allowed AT&T and TMobile to advertise 4g with HSPA+ because the speeds were similar to “true 4g” LTE at the time.

        • Shaun Michalak

          To start, your initial statement has already been proven false.. When it comes to 5G speeds, some sites say 100mb down, some say 1000mb down (aka 1ghz).. T-Mobile has already passed that, proven with screen shots of speed tests, in NYC, using band 41, or 2.5ghz frequency.. So right there, that makes your initial statement false from the start.

          As for the “false advertising” comment with 5G not being 5G.. Well, take that 4G phone and try to connect to 5G towers.. See what happens.. NOTHING.. That is because it is a completely different protocol or technology.. If you only got 2mb down on a 5G connection, are you going to say that the 5G connection is actually a 3G connection?? No.. Because people would call you an idiot.. especially if there was no 3G on that tower.. Yet this is exactly what your comments imply.. I do not get 2ghz down so that 5G technology is not 5G.. Well, if it is not 5G, then you should have no problem connecting to it with a 4G phone.. Results are completely different then design.. 5G is simply a design, not an outcome.. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • (J²)

          While I can appreciate your opinion, it completely defies the facts and the reality of the situation. The carriers have been sued and fined for overstating 4G capabilities and will be no different for 5G at this rate.

          I’m perfectly fine with you believing whatever you’d like though :)

        • Shaun Michalak

          To your comment of “:While I can appreciate your opinion, it completely defies the facts and the reality of the situation. The carriers have been sued and fined for overstating 4G capabilities and will be no different for 5G at this rate.

          I’m perfectly fine with you believing whatever you’d like though :)”

          Ok, lets look at the facts.. T-Mobile stated

          “By 2024, it says, the “5G network will be significantly faster than our 4G LTE is today” — 15x faster speeds”

          “T-Mobile has been avoiding concrete 5G numbers”

          “By T-Mobile’s own yardstick, “mildly faster 4G” isn’t a good answer.”

          ““In some places, 600 MHz 5G will be a lot faster than LTE. In others, customers won’t see as much difference. On average, customers with a 600 MHz 5G phone should see a 20 percent download speed boost on top of what T-Mobile’s LTE network delivers, and with the New T-Mobile they can expect that to get exponentially faster over time, just like we saw when 4G was first introduced.”

          So yea.. Can you please explain to me where any of these quotes, straight from T-Mobile, has set any standards for “overstating” as you put it, its capabilities.. Or does saying something that will happen 4 years from now somehow give the impression that it is here now?? Yea, I think you are the one that is only believing what you want to believe.. I bring facts.. your bring personal expectations as facts.. I think everyone here can tell who is believing whatever they want.. Have a nice day.

      • marque2

        I just got a V60. Experimenting around it seems like TMobile might be pretending I have 5g. Don’t know how accurate my signal analyzers are but they show me connected to say band 4 which I didn’t think had 5g but still shows the 5g symbol.

        • Mike

          Maybe they mean up to 5g on your phone while your getting B4.. lol… Who knows, maybe it’s doing carrier aggregation? If you are getting B4, your download speeds are probably good.

  • DominiMMIV

    I know that n71 is not the fastest but with the additional spectrum available even LTE speeds on band 12 and 71 have increased in my area. Win Win for me :)

    • Shaun Michalak

      the same here.. Not great, but at least it is now more reliable..

    • Shaun Michalak

      I check the speeds at my house every so often, and I usually average about 3mb down.. I went to the next, not so congested, set of towers going about a mile west of here, and got on that tower.. Guess what.. I got speeds of about 60mb down on that tower.. Come back home, and back down to about 3mb down again.. 3.2mb to be exact.. It just goes to show how much congestion really makes that much of a difference.. Hospitals, high rise apartments, etc.. They do the speeds in with congestion very fast..

      • Mike

        Well once more phones connect to that 600 mhz, the slower that will go. Matter of fact lower frequencies will slow down fast than mid bands. It would interesting to know the number of phones each band get carry without seeing low speeds.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I think that all depends on how much frequency it uses, what technology it uses, and what people are doing on the phone.. there is going to be a big difference between someone just talking on the phone, and someone video chatting with 6 people all at once..

        • Mike

          More people use phones for data related content versus talking on a voice line. Just watch all the people that can’t put down facebook for any given hour. People are addicted to social media, some even call others over facebook rather than dialing a number, it’s just the trend of things nowadays. So more data will be used.

        • marque2

          Yeah, but how much data does Facebook actually need? Their 720p streams need maybe 2mb/s. Watching even high def video is only a 20mbs – 40mbs proposition at most (1080p is 3 – 5 mbs depending on how compressed, multiply by 4 for 4k, and by 16 for 8k). I don’t see that most people need the massive amounts of streaming speed they are whining about.

        • Shaun Michalak

          True, but at the same time, that 2mb times 200 people really adds up fast.. Then there is also the people that have hotspot devices, and have it connected to their computers, TV’s, etc..

        • Mike

          Well every time people scroll through a Facebook page, it takes data, so you take all the millions that scroll facebook at any given second and that data is probably high. Far as people needing data for video, 480p works good on the phone, but as the screens get bigger on phones, people will expect to have higher quality bandwidth.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Not me.. I do not have anything connected to my phone that does not need to be there, other then cellmapper, gas buddy, the weather, and maps.. I check everything on my computer at home, not on my cell.. Today, i never even turned my computer on until 8pm at night.. So while you do have a point, I am not in that category..

    • Mike

      Must be nice in your area. The speeds here on Band 2 and band 12 are horrible, can’t even get over 2 meg for the download. Can’t see at this point that B 71 will make any differernce.

      • Shaun Michalak

        Well, yes, it will make a difference.. Because adding band 71 will add more spectrum, and more room and bandwidth on the tower.. So while it may not be a great improvement, it is some improvement.. I believe that when they are installing band 71 in the areas, they are also adding more mid band too.. At least, that is what they did in my area.. So that also helps too.. I would wait and see what happens, because they may install enough, especially with getting Sprints band 25 (1900mhz) and band 41 where they can install all that at the same time too..

        • Mike

          I don’t even have Band 4 here, so I’m not sure how band 25 will make any difference. The only hope here is if they switch some Sprint towers to Tmobile frequencies, and add towers. Just adding 600 mhz is not the best answer for speed. You need mid band to work also.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Sprints band 25 is equal to band 2.. The difference is band 2 is sold in 15mhz blocks, and band 25 is in 20mhz blocks.. If people are jumping off of T-Mobile towers that are Sprint customers, then that frees up a lot of unused band 25, so if they add that band 25 to the T-Mobile towers, that will basically increase their 1900mhz bandwidth by about 50% more then what they already had.. Maybe more. Right now, really only Sprint customers can access that band 25 use on the Sprint tower, but Sprint customers get full access to T-Mobile towers.. That puts more strain on the T-Mobile tower adding those sprint customers.. So if they add it on top of what they already have, this would let all customers access that spectrum, not just Sprint customers..

  • Schpoo

    So we’re just not going to talk about the layoffs? Cool.

    • slybacon

      No.

  • Mike

    The roll out of 5g on 600 mhz is pretty smart since alot of the country didn’t even have coverage before.. One problem for those in rural areas is they will only have 600 mhz for a while, it’s going to take a long time to get 2.5 gig out to the rural areas to the west. So basically 600 mhz was used to fill in the coverage holes, and also help out city areas. Essentually helping out coverage and not so much about speed.

    • marque2

      Eh – I just got a v60 because my new work place had a lot of dead spots. Between 4g and 5g I see no difference in dead spots and when I do get signal the speeds are exactly the same – with the caviat that the ping time is 30ms vs 40ms. I am in the LA area. Here in my hotel – it seems like 5g is a bit faster but again the speed tests are so variable it is hard to tell.

      I wouldn’t be in a big rush to get 5g unless you desperately need a new phone and 5g is on sale.

      • Mike

        Oh, at this point I will wait a while. I like that phone you got, but to me cell phones are priced way to high. No phone is worth over 300.00, let alone 1000.00. I’ll probably wait till the end of the year. Them turning on 600mhz is not a big pitch to me.

        • marque2

          I don’t know if it is going on still but last week TMobile had a two for one sale bringing the cost down to $350 or $400 depending on the version. I am ho hum about this phone at the moment. For a modern phone it has a large bezel which makes it even larger – when it is already a bit too large. Screen finger print sensor doesn’t work well. The second screen setup makes the phone bulky and heavy. So after two days stopped using it. Also I don’t like having a tiny USB magnetic adaptor needed for charging in dual screen, which is easy to lose.

        • Mike

          I will look for that deal on the LG.. I might also look at Samsung line of phones. At least I’m in no rush to buy today. As slow as 2.5 gig is being rolled out, I’ll have time.

  • Glenn Gore

    The other day I noticed that T-Mobile has actually expanded their 600 MHz 5G near me, adding 5G to one additional site in the area and greatly improving the data rate of the first site they upgraded. Where I was getting 12-15 Mbpsdown/2 up max in the original location, Speedtest now reports 145 Mbps down and 45 Mbps up, a huge increase. The new site just has the 12 Mbps down/2 up right now. Both sites are showing a reach of about 22 miles of usable coverage. These sites are easy to measure since there isn’t another T-Mobile 5G coverage area for 60 miles in any direction.

  • mikeZo6

    T-mobile 5G download is 49.2 that’s Horrible ! totally unacceptable for 5G even if just starting off T-mobile said 1G download speeds on 5G so just starting out i can see 500 then improving to over a 1 Gig

    • (J²)

      Exactly! Be careful, there are a number of trolls on this website that completely disagree with you and I though.

    • marque2

      They did the same with 4g – told us it would do 100Mbs and we got 10. Now 10 years later, yes, we can, if located in the right spot, get 200Mbs on LTE.

      The 1Ghz you have been reading about is some future dream. I am sure in about 5 – 10 years we will be there with 5g then complaining about how the carriers are all too slow with 6g