PCMag names T-Mobile as fastest mobile network in the country


T-Mobile has just earned the top spot on PCMag’s Fastest Mobile Networks report. This is an important achievement for T-Mobile since it is the first time they topped this list since the tests first came out in 2010. 

PCMag recently conducted a study on which mobile carrier offered the best 4G and 5G mobile network speeds. The testing was done in 30 cities across the country and included 6 major rural regions. 

According to their findings, T-Mobile’s new mid-band (Ultra Capacity) 5G network helped the Un-Carrier earn the title. T-Mo was the only nationwide 5G that was faster than 4G. As a result, PCMag named T-Mobile as the first-ever awardee of that title. 

The results of the study showed that T-Mobile had a huge lead in 5G. It won in 24 cities and rural regions. Its rivals only had 8 wins (AT&T) and 2 wins (Verizon). Thanks to Sprint’s mid-band airwaves, T-Mobile’s Ultra-Capacity network gave customers consistent results of 150Mbps to 500Mbps download speed. 

The study also found that Verizon’s mmWave 5G network is the fastest 5G in the country with peak speeds of over 2Gbps. But because it is growing too slowly, it is not as widely available as T-Mobile’s. Verizon’s overall speed also declined in the past year as a probable result of less capacity and congestion. 

When it comes to 4G results, AT&T was the dominating network. But despite this, the network did not show any improvement compared to the previous year. It also cannot be compared to 5G’s speeds. 

The study also found that T-Mobile’s 5G network is available 90% of the time or more in the cities of Chicago, Tucson, Las Vegas, New York, and Boston. 

And when it comes to rural coverage, the more rural the area is, the better AT&T’s network is too. In fact, AT&T won in 4 out of 6 rural regions included in the study. 

You can read more about the results of the study here.


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  • Sharti24

    Makes sense. T-Mobile has the most amount of spectrum and the fewest customers count, so i’d hope they would be the fastest.

    • marque2

      WTF on both counts? You just like saying mean things about Tmobile. I believe they are the #2 cell provider. Not sure about the spectrum.

      • Trevnerdio

        They’re #3/3, even after the Sprint acquisition. But yes, I get fast speeds once in a while….most of the time though, whew. It’s kinda rough. 5 mbps? This isn’t 2010 anymore, that isn’t “fast”

        • MissedCall

          And (ding, ding, ding) your WRONG!

          The top four wireless telecommunications facilities-based service providers by subscriber count in the United States are:

          Verizon: 121.3 million (Q2 2021)
          T-Mobile US: 104.8 million (Q2 2021)
          AT&T Mobility: 97.8 million (Q2 2021)
          Dish Wireless: 8.89 million (Q1 2021)

        • Trevnerdio

          Hey, good for T-Mobile! Way to be a total d!ck about it in the process, kudos!

        • Sharti24

          Wow you got your “facts” from wikipedia. Lots of research done there to find that out. Did you also read….

          “AT&T also does not include “connected devices” count, however it is not known if Verizon or T-Mobile include these devices. As such, it is possible that the ranking above could be inaccurate.”

        • MissedCall

          From Verizon’s earnings press release for 2Q2021:
          528,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 275,000 phone net additions, resulting in 121.3 million total retail connections.

          From T-Mobile’s earnings press release for 2Q2021
          Net customer additions of 1.4 million in Q2 2021 increased 107 thousand year-over-year and the total customer count increased to a record-high of 104.8 million.

          From AT&T’s earnings press release for 2Q 2021
          You can’t find a number because they have split their prepaid and postpaid business segments and seem to report on them separately. Their postpaid number is 65.5M, per their earnings report.

        • Sharti24

          Ok so its possible that tmobile is in third place and Att is behind Verizon. Nice

        • MissedCall

          There is no way ATT/Cricket has 40M prepaid customers.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Cricket had 9 million subscribers in 2018, and 10 million in 2019.. By those numbers, I could guess that they are up to about 12 million today..

        • marque2

          Probably not there are several business websites that say otherwise.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I looked the facts up on statista and they have pretty close to the same numbers too.. So those numbers are backed by multiple web sites, not just wiki..

        • marque2

          Smarttunetech dot com also says the same thing.

          Also the numbers are in the quarterly earnings report and they are suppose to follow similar industry standards in reporting customers. Sometimes things get crazy like when AT&T reported about 60million more customers than today – but the accounting standards bureaus come in and make sure the accounting is done legitimately.

          T-mobile took a big drop a few years back when the Standard Accounting Office determined that Obamaphones should not be listed.

        • Shaun Michalak

          As they say, location, location, location.. and branding, branding, branding.. I do not have a 5G phone.. and on my phone, I just did a speed test and I find that here, it depends on the service.. I have a T-Mobile hotspot, and with that, I got 44.9 Mbps down.. But on my Metro line, which has been majorly de-prioritized, I just got 6.2 Mbps.. But on my Metro phone, most of the time I get over 10 megs down.. I would say something like 95% of the time.. So the level of your prioritizing can make a huge difference too..

          Even still.. They are still a LOT better then they were a few years ago.. Back then, I was lucky to even get a data connection good enough to do a speed test on it most of the time..So over 10 megs down most of the time is a huge improvement.. But then again, If I was that worried about data, then I would have a T-Mobile postpaid account with higher priority, and not Metro..

        • Trevnerdio

          Yeah, makes sense. I have a postpaid line, and a 5G phone. In the middle of Windsor, CO it doesn’t work. Period. At all. Upload is like .05mbps and download is about .8, if I’m lucky. Windsor isn’t big by any stretch of the imagination, and I can’t imagine T-Mobile is super saturated here because they’re just so-so in the mountains.

          At my house one town over, I gotta say they’ve made huge improvements. I get 4-5 bars n71 in my basement now, which is so much better than it was like 3-4 weeks ago. About 30mbps too, so I’m happy enough with it.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I looked it up.. I Windsor, CO.. They have bands 2, 12, 66, and 71 there for 4G service, so it does not seem like it is a lack of frequency and bandwidth that is the problem.. Since there are Sprint towers in the area.. I am wondering if you are connection to a Sprint tower getting those kinds of speeds.. I know that is my problem around here..

          Every time I connect to a Sprint tower, my data speeds drop a lot.. Sometimes, to the point that I can barely do a speed test at all.. If so, this does not surprise me.. After all, Sprint may have had a ton of B41, but their 1900mhz band 25 is really all they had beside that, and that came out to be about 25% of the frequency / bandwidth that T-Mobile had in low and mid band before the merger.

        • Trevnerdio

          I check band info all the time and I’ll be honest, I can’t even recall the last time I was connected to anything other than n41 for Sprint’s previous frequencies. For LTE, I only get the T-Mo frequencies as well. I think the last time I was running on some Sprint frequencies was Denver. Windsor has n41, but my little town (Severance) doesn’t have anything other than n71, pretty sure

        • Shaun Michalak

          I saw that they had N41 and N71 both installed there.. But I do not rely on then because they are 5G, and not everyone has a 5G phone.. I sure do not.. I am waiting until they get everything fully installed with 5G before I jump over.. and last I heard, they still did not have VoNR installed yet.. Once they do, then I will take the plunge..

          The other reason I am hesitant on going with 5G.. Phones.. I really do not like too big of a phone.. I have a 5″ screen on my phone now, which is what I find comfortable.. I also have a phone with a 6.2″ screen.. and I find the one with the bigger screen is fine for reading stuff.. But it is uncomfortable to be using as a phone, where you are holding it up to your ear constantly.. and every 5G phone that I have looked at have all had at least a 6″ screen..

        • Trevnerdio

          VoNR certainly isn’t everywhere, but my n71 is standalone at my house. So I’d have to be making calls over 5G.

          But yeah as far as LTE goes out here, it’s congested as hell. Lots of bands, decent amount of frequency, not a great experience lol

          And I feel ya about the phones. I personally like a big screen, but there pretty much is no such thing as a smaller form factory anymore.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I do not mind the larger screen per say.. It is more like.. By the time you put a case on the phone, it gets so big that it feels clunky to try and hold.. I guess you could say it gets uncomfortable using it too much once it gets past a certain size.

          There is a big difference between SA and VoNR.. SA or stand alone just means that the 5G signal does not need to go back to the 4G LTE core to get authorized.. and if all you are doing is just data or talk, then doing one thing at a time on the phone, you can stay fully on 5G.. But VoNR is so that you can use one connection and do both at the same time.. Without VoNR installed, and if you use both at the same time, the phone will use 5G for data, and switch you to 4G LTE for the talking connection..

        • Trevnerdio

          Oh duh, I forgot that it could just switch back during a call. You’re right. Also, right as I say I’m never on Sprint bands at my home, I am today. B25 LTE, 10MHz, no carrier ag, just got 40 down. That’s pretty impressive actually lol

          Anyway, I just tested SA, and I deselected tech by tech, so got rid of LTE first, and it fell to 3G…got rid of 3G and it fell to EDGE. Freaking EDGE over going to SA lmao what is going on. Probably wants to preserve call functionality.

          But you’re right, I wasn’t able to make calls. Not sure why T-Mobile is dragging its feet on this, but pretty sure my Note 20 Ultra unlocked hasn’t been provisioned for VoNR.

        • Shaun Michalak

          You are probably right.. It is probably trying to preserve call functionality.. But the other question is.. Does T-Mobile just not have VoNR installed yet, and if so, why not?? or does your phone support it, but just not have it configured to do so?? as in, maybe they need an update to get it to work, or work right, and no updates have come down the pike yet?? Either way, according to online, that does have the x65 chipset in it, which does support it.. So who knows..

        • marque2

          Do you have a hotspot or cellspot? Differences is, the hotspot, I believe creates a cell signal but uses your home internet the cellspot finds a weak signal somewhere in the house (it has more antenna) and amplifies it for the rest of the house. It doesn’t involve home internet.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Alcatel Linkzone 2 hotspot.. Yea, I believe that is a hotspot.. I get good service.. 4 to 5 bars.. off of the cell tower so there is no problem with my cell reception.

          and your description is a little off.. A hotspot uses cell towers to connect to for internet, and then creates a WiFi signal for you to connect your devices to for internet service.. The other thing you are thinking about is more like a repeater where you put the device in a place that gets a good signal, and it repeats it, so that you can get a better signal.. It is basically a booster of the signal..

        • marque2

          But they are all like that – with great disparities in speed depending on location. And for size it depends how you count customers. I have seen some places say Tmobile is number three and AT&T is #1 but others Verizon – Tmobile – AT&T is the order.

          I still maintain that the fellow above just likes to say mean things and found a forum to do so.

    • Shaun Michalak

      You would have to distinguish what kind of spectrum to make that claim.. If you include MMwave, then I would say Verizon has the most.. But if you go with mid and low band, I would guess T-Mobile..

      As for customer count.. Here is the problem.. There is a big difference between main customers, customers on all their platforms, and total customers on the network.. It would take some time to look up the info for all of that.. When you look up T-Mobile subscribers, I do not know if that is including their prepaid brand.. Metro (I personally do not think it does, but not sure).. Also, What about all these other customers on all of the networks, that are not their customers?? Dish, Mint, Walmart mobile, Straight Talk, etc for T-Mobile, Then there is Spectrum, Straight Talk, etc for Verizon.. and so on..

      Yea, they might not be actual T-mobile customers, but it does put a drain on their resources for each carrier

      • marque2

        Google FI is all Tmobile as well.

        • Shaun Michalak

          There is many more companies then that.. I just gave a few of the more known basic services..

  • Qbancelli

    Go TMobile!

  • Ben

    I did a speed test in West Philly and was shocked by the results. 698 down and 50.7 up (SGS21). Of course, it depends on location, but they’ve come a long way indeed.

  • aLdo

    North Eastern Jersey here … 684 down 55 up

  • NotFooled

    PC Mag didn’t check their speed in Virginia and North Carolina. Nothing has changed. 5G doesn’t penetrate buildings and 2 bars at 5 G in some areas equals no service.

  • Glenn Gore

    These tests were no way nationwide or “sea to shining sea” as they claimed. They left out fully 1/3 of the country by ignoring the northern US and left a pretty good gap in the middle of the country. And the tests were done only on Interstate highways for the most part, with only a very small amount of US or state highways. Carriers have always concentrated on Interstate coverage and left US and state highways unserved, and this testing only serves to highlight that fact, which skews the results. These tests don’t really tell us anything new.