Report: T-Mobile’s 5G download speeds far from promised

report-t-mobile-speed-test-far-from-promise

Despite being able to expand its 5G network throughout the US, it appears that there are some users who are unable to see the fast speeds promised by T-Mobile. This comes from a report that suggests T-Mo’s 5G download speeds only compose of a small fraction of what the carrier has publicly promised. 

At the recently conducted Citi 2021 Global TMT West Conference, T-Mobile’s President of Technology Neville Ray spoke to the public about their 2020 efforts to expand 5G. The CEO said that their network is now able to cover over 1.6 million square miles and 280 million users. Ray also said that their 5G download speeds are nearing 300Mb/s, which is a significant bump from the 40Mb/s provided by their 4G LTE network. 

But as evidenced on speed tests ran by SDXCentral, it appears that these numbers aren’t close to what the T-Mo executive mentioned. Using an iPhone 12, a speed test was conducted in Long Beach, California. This speed test resulted in a meager 0.85Mb/s. The same device ran a speed test using T-Mobile’s 4G network, which yielded 47Mb/s. Another report shared that they were able to record 39.4Mb/s under T-Mobile’s 5G network too. 

This is a far cry from the numbers promised by Ray. But as T-Mobile continues to rollout its 5G network, it’s possible that its download speeds can also improve over time. 

 

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  • pda96

    To be more specific, it’s a joke. No better than 4G LTE in most cases. Right now, 5G is just a sales gimmick.

  • Garblicks

    T-Mobile is like every other cell provider. They lie about their numbers and signal. I’ve been with T-Mobile for 8 years and the only reason I’m still with them is the old simple choice plan and I get a decent signal. That’s it. Everything they do and say is a damn lie. Most people won’t see true 5g for another 10 years with T-Mobile.

    • marque2

      To be fair, when I first joined in 2012, I was getting about 10mb/s at home. Today I get about 50mbs. 2012 – 2016 I had to have a signal booster to get the phones working, today, don’t need it. Not earth shattering but still a significant speed and better service. I can’t complain too much. I don’t know what I need more than 50mb/s for on a phone anyway, unless I am tethering(hotspotting). It is just bragging rights.

  • King James

    So one test from Long Beach, California is how we determine network speed now? Well here in New York City on T-Mobile’s 5G network, I’m seeing an average of 100+ megabits per second with a peak of 600+ megabits per second depending on where I am. I have an iPhone 12 Pro Max. I am using the speedtest from ookla.

    • marque2

      The three cell companies tend to fix up New York city first, partially to score bragging rights, but also because it is so dense, flat and with lots of skyscrapers it is easy to put up a lot of towers without fuss. That makes it easy to get a signal out.

      Here where I live in CA it is small valleys. You can’t put a tower on top of a mountain because they are all protected, so the towers tend to be low, bottom of the valley, or at middle elevation in people’s backyards (admittedly there are acreages around here) Not ideal at all.

  • Acdc1a

    Worse, the upgrades in my area have ruined my service in the house.

  • saimin

    Save your phone’s battery. Disable 5G this year. Maybe they will turn it on for real next year.

  • Omegajb

    4G LTE is faster for me than 5G in Northern Virginia. I disabled it for better battery life.

  • Erik Sorensen

    Download speeds in MN average in the mid 200 mb/s. Almost everywhere too. Using a Samsung Note 10+ 5G

  • Mark McCoskey

    I have access to n71 in my area, but have not seen any notice of n41 being available as yet. Figure there is no reason to upgrade to a 5G device until mid-band is Live. Besides, waiting for X60 (SA, CA, VoNR) modemed devices to be released. My phone is my internet.

    • Sharti24

      Has t-mobile stated when they’re going to deploy VoNR?

      • Zerovanity

        Later this year, after several x60 phones are released.

    • Willie D

      X55 modems do have SA and VoNR built into it and can be activated by the carrier using radio updates from Qualcomm. X60 is the first modem to do this AND CA out of the box.

      • Zerovanity

        I can find no mention from Qualcomm that states that the x50, x51, x52, or x55 modems are hardware compatible. T-Mobile has stated they will deploy VoNR later this year after they have released several compatible phones.

        What I am confused by is why they don’t turn it on for the LG Velvet (T-Mobile version) with the MediaTech processor. T-Mobile even had a press release stating they had successfully tested this phone with VoNR.

        Just to clarify the x55 can do CA; just not between sub 6 FDD and TDD, e.g. bands n71 and n41.

        • Willie D

          With Samsung you can *#2263# and literally turn off all bands for all technologies and turn on ONLY 5G SA and still make a voice call – thats how I know. I heard others were trying it and testing it, so I did too. Granted the reliability of the network blows so much and is so slow there are frequent cut outs but the technology is 100% active for TMo Note Ultra devices at least.

        • Cash

          the LG velvet just recently got updated for SA on dec 23rd on my phone. I think the problem isnt tmobile as much as LG slowing down updates. In south korea they are doing beta tests on android 11 on the velvet, so perhaps tmobile will roll out VoNR / 5g CA at same time in like 3 months when LG finishes making the android 11 update for the velvet.

      • mikeZo6

        100% Correct

    • Zerovanity

      Unfortunately, they are no longer sending press releases about n41 in new cities. I didn’t think it had been deployed near me until I had to go to the T-Mobile store and happened to see some of their internal cell site data.

  • iansltx

    Well, while we’re cherry-picking microscopic sample sizes, I just ran a 5G speed test and got ~70/20, then switched to LTE and got 60/12. Then switched to B41 (T-Mobile) and got 100/6. Then switched to 5G again and got 80/31.

    Yes, the n41 network has issues at cell edges on newly turned up sites. But testing at the cell edge a couple times and calling it a day does not valid network testing make. If you’re in an area with a decent n41 signal, the service performs as advertised, hitting 300+ Mbps. RootMetrics, Ookla, etc. should be able to confirm that.

    • AA-Ron

      Good call, I just forced n41 and my speeds jumped to 180. Now that could also be because it is 6:30 in the morning

    • Trevnerdio

      For sure, I have gotten 325 in Atlanta before, and around 300 when I tested again. It’s definitely possible to hit it, but n41 here in Denver just doesn’t seem to be the same, sadly. Was never able to find mmWave in Atlanta either, even though I think I was in the right area.

  • Willie D

    Where I live, San Francisco, there is no N41 nor mmWave on TMo, yet both AT&T and Verizon are well covered with their own low, mid, high bands here. As for the terrible 5G NSA and 5G SA both are terrible, no SA does NOT offer any improvements in speed or coverage or latency over NSA. Both are MUCH slower than LTE, like in the HSPA 1.3 era type speeds, like EVDO on Sprint is faster to be truthful.

    For TMo the hype over 5G isnt actually about a whole new network or data speeds, capacity or even coverage, it has been 100% focused on but untold to public that its really just updating some antennas that are past their prime. NEW RADIO says it all, but does TMo say, hey guys we lied and its really only about replacing antennas that are 5G type. Cause that’s ALL I see from TMo, a lot of hype over 5G when all I experience is worse speeds, worse coverage, worse reliability.

    • Zerovanity

      That is not true. 600Mhz used for bands 71 and n71 are greenfield. They have to have all new radios and antennas, because no one used them for cellular networks anywhere in the world before T-Mobile USA.

    • marque2

      My question is how do you know Verizon and AT&T aren’t having the same problems. It is common to have carrier X, see news reports that carrier Y and Z are doing things in your area, and then just assume Y and Z have it all figured out.

      Verizon has almost no 5g presence, and the AT&T and Verizon accomplish what they do have with band splitting, while tmobile is providing 5g only spectrum. But yeah they are all so -so at the moment.

      For all the braggadocio in the other posts, 600mbits here and there. I have noticed, since they upgraded my local tower about a 25% increase on my 5g phones. Where I was getting 40mbs now I get 50-55. Where I work it is a similar situation. Interestingly since December break ended there are now several rooms at work where I formally got zero signal and now get something (big ol metal and concrete building with few windows)

      So I see the improvements. I guess it was much like early LTE where they advertised potential rates – you can get up to 100mbs when in reality back in 2010 you were lucky to get 6 – 8 – but that was still impressive.

  • JR

    235/40 here in Irvine, CA. OnePlus 8T+ 5G.

    • Jay Holm

      Yeah but how often, and how many locations do you get that speed?

    • Trint Customer

      How is your overall reception at the District Mall, especially along Barranca Avenue?

  • mikeZo6

    Lets be honest Tmobile 5G nowhere near what Tmo PROMISED at present time needs tons of work…

  • Glenn Gore

    This is not the least bit surprising to anyone who has been out and about and used any carrier’s network in a variety of locations, not just T-Mobile. I have been lots of places but I have never seen anything close to 300 Mbps, ever. No matter what technology or “G” is available.
    It’s just a simple fact that no carrier has sufficient backhaul in place to support even LTE at its full capability at any given site, let alone 5G. This has always been the case. Evidently backhaul is horrifically expensive, no matter the location, so the carriers only provision the bare minimum to provide a basic service and rarely ever go back to increase capacity.

  • David

    Fastest down I got was 461 in November. just got 369 and 61 this weekend, indoors, in Columbus, Ohio. iPhone 12 Mini.

  • SteveD

    Like anything in the cellular world the tag “YMMV” is applied generously. I can tell you that, in my personal experience all over the south suburbs of Chicago and into NW Indiana there is a very large 5G penetration with good speeds to show for it.
    I’ve got a series of speedtest results going back to March of this year from all over the region..
    Note 10 5G+
    210 / 56.5
    189 / 56.3
    209 / 38.7
    190 / 55
    208 / 56.4
    352 / 63.7
    So the speeds are there.
    What people fail to take into account is that this is an entirely new network overlay. that means time to build out. Time to add HW to towers. Time to build and source new towers. Time to increase backhaul. Time to clear spectrum in the area. Time for optimization. It’s not a switch that is just thrown and magic is sprinkled all over the land.

  • marque2

    “But as evidenced on speed tests ran by SDXCentral”

    Note to author, it is “run” not ran. I am not an expert on grammar, but with run it is generally used with the subject of the sentence. I ran, you ran, she ran the car ran. This is called the simple past tense. Otherwise, (especially when after a verb or implied verb), it is always run. As in I have run, the test was run, did you run it , I have the runs …

    I would post a link to a site explaining it, but that is forbidden on this site.

  • slybacon

    299/30 here in Salt Lake City, UT. iPhone 12 Pro Max.

    • dcmanryan

      Nice. One my One Plus 8 I’ve hit 90 once up there but I’m usually Lehi or south of that and speeds are a joke. 5 to 25 Mbps.

      • slybacon

        I haven’t tested in Utah county yet (although Eagle Mtn Tmo LTE was faster than Verizon 5G in November ‘20). All along State street in SL county is really good connection and speeds.

        • dcmanryan

          Good to hear. I hope they upgrade down south sooner than later.

  • warpwiz

    I spend time in Atlanta and live in an xurb of Columbus, Ga. 5g has really been a benefit at home. We’ve gone from single-digit d/l to typically mid-50’s. Thus, we’re not cripped if wifi isn’t working properly.
    But even in downtown ATL (where I would expect the signal would warm the phone with its power), I only get mid-200’s. That’s not tragic. But certainly a long way from what was discussed prior to 5g rollout.
    5g so far is a shiny object. It’s nice, but far from “the” answer.

  • zeiferx

    T-Mobile’s 5G is if anything barely better than their LTE. speeds most of the time are the same or worse in some areas and both have the same dead spots and issues as before, just like if they carried it over.
    I believe their 5G is more hype than anything else, your coverage might be big but you cant perform as well as Verizon overall and lets not even try to compare service if Verizon has mmWave available because is not even fair.

    • StankLord

      Yes, mmWave, the signal that can be disrupted if your finger is over the wrong spot on your phone. Let’s not get carried away here

  • Jay Holm

    9+ months since the merger closed, rollout of 2.5ghz hasn’t been impressive. I live near Houston.

  • Brian

    I’ve seen 620 and at home I get over 250 consistently. I lived with 100 mbs for years before I had gigabit fiber.

  • Brad C

    I get 100+ consistently, even around airports now (places T-Mobile used to crumble), around Chicago they’re moving fast lighting up 2.5GHz, I say give it a year to fully realize, as the places i’ve seen them get done traveling around for work.. it’s been spot on and I almost never need even to use my 2nd AT&T SIM anymore when traveling around anymore.

  • gwhyte01

    560/150 Yonkers New York.

  • Marcelo_L

    How about they FIX their coverage rather than try to bump up speeds.

    Still on 4G LTE….why do I in a major metropolitan area need a nano-cell tied to my home network?

    Because TMO refuses to improve it’s home penetration in my area. Are you serious TMo?

  • StankLord

    Quite possible what’s being described here is congestion, which will be greatly diminished as the company continues rolling out midband assets