Latest Verizon vs AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint LTE speeds and coverage maps show T-Mobile's crazy progress

Latest Verizon vs AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint LTE speeds and coverage maps show T-Mobile's crazy progress
Thanks to the wonderful invention of free market competition, the US carriers managed to create one of the world's most impressive 4G LTE blanket maps in the span of just five years or so. It now ranks in the top 10 countries by LTE coverage, with carrier subscribers being in a 4G area about 81% of the time. What's even more stunning is that the US is a huge country, while most of the rest in the top 10 list are smaller, more compact nations, where it is much easier to build out coverage.

Well, the carrier wars are undoubtedly one of the big reason for this vast expansion of 4G LTE connectivity in the US, and there is none more interesting now than the success story of T-Mobile against the Verizon and AT&T Goliaths. Rising from relative obscurity, T-Mobile grew its coverage and plan option in such a way that now subscribers are flocking to it in droves, despite that it has neither the most expansive nor the fastest 4G coverage. It's getting there, though, and the latest stats from OpenSignal prove that T-Mobile is getting so good that it is even encroaching on the champion Verizon's turf.

As you can see from the slideshow below, T-Mobile's 700 MHz spectrum buildout is almost complete, matching the AT&T LTE coverage area, and closing in on Verizon's. Besides the coverage expansion,, T-Mobile earned the most awards for progress from all four carriers -  in network latency, 3G and 4G download speeds. Given the excellent value-for-money plans, phones and early upgrade offers it holds as trump cards, T-Mobile's march can be expected to continue this year as well, what do you think?


source: OpenSignal

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39 Comments

1. AlikMalix unregistered

Wow, what an eye opener... Very much surprised by AT&T. Another reason to switch from AT&T if they take away my unlimited data (as rumored).

7. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

The real question is not who has the fastest LTE speeds, but who has the best overall coverage for use. What good is fast speeds if there is wide open gaps in toatal coverage that TMobile has. TMobile now needs to get its total coverage up to "speed" out side of urban areas where they are lacking. lol.

16. Techist

Posts: 311; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Looks like you just skipped the article and came straight to the comments section to regurgitate old ideas. If you read the article and looked at the slides, you would realize that T-Mobile's coverage is now practically the same as AT&T's (which is very good), both of which are now pretty close to Verizon's coverage. Look at the 2nd slide. I am a T-Mobile customer and 4 months ago while on vacation I was very surprised to discover I had connectivity in a part of the US that has long been known to have no coverage from any of the carriers (Washington Island, Door County, Wisconsin). Things are changing.

18. xq10xa

Posts: 808; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Once T-Mobile is actually good. I will switch. Screw AT&T. This isn't enough though. The slides are very misleading. What we need from T-Mobile is consistant speed. Not just one tiny section that as soon as you move out of it's range it's back to 3G. Good on T-Mobile...but they got a long ways to go...I have a feeling once the top 2 start up again T-Mobile will fade into obscurity. The only reason people go to T-Mobile is because of the lower price point and it's network is a tad larger than sprints. Mainly it's because people ain't got that paper.

19. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

It doesn't matter what the article says. Tmobile still has poor or nonexistent coverage in many areas. I noticed this myself when I travel

30. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

same with att u want the best coverage here in cali,vegas arizona ,when you travel VERIZON is the only way to go even att sometimes craps out as a matter of fact tmobile is now offering better coverage in rural parts than att i kno i have att my mom tmobile now tmobile is getting signal in some places in the middle of nowhere were att has COMPLETLY no service and verizon does. i been surprised at how much its improving if it continues like that its deff gonna leave att behind n catch up to verizon.

22. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Haha, precisely, I kept wondering "did you actually read the article" while rading QWIKSTRIKE's comment...it's just more proof that what T-mobile says is true; their coverage is almost on-par with Verizons and they have the fastest LTE network, plus what Verizon was advertising is BS as T-Mobile pointed out in another ad.

25. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

This article speaks about LTE foot print, and speeds from my readings. I don't find anything that suggest overall covergae is better. I do read that over all LTE speed and foot print out paces AT&T and is close to Verizon because of the 700mhz signal

36. Monster.Ninja

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

How is the areas leading up to Door County? IE: Manitowoc, Two rivers, Possible Green bay and other surrounding area?

21. AlikMalix unregistered

You're right, I should have mentioned that if I move - I'd be moving to Verizon. It has better coverage and slightly overall faster speeds from what I see.

2. torr310

Posts: 1645; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

it seems ATT isn't making progress.

3. Blest42188

Posts: 55; Member since: Aug 05, 2015

This is definitely surprising... Whoa.

4. shiftt

Posts: 333; Member since: May 03, 2015

Once again, Gotta love T-Mobile :)

27. Brewski

Posts: 671; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Yeah, they crushed it in the 3G!!!! Why is 3G even a part of this?

31. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Because phones still run off it. Simple phones and non-lte locations will use 3g until something is upgraded. 2g was in use until recently.

32. fher182

Posts: 25; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

unless you are on Verizon where you always get 4G LTE

5. dcgore

Posts: 234; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

Competition is great. Re AT&T: I am sure all resources were allocated to their Directv acquisition. I expect them to start focusing on their wireless network once again.

6. Punchy506

Posts: 129; Member since: Jan 10, 2016

A 3g win is worth as much as a 4g win? Seems a little biased towards T-Mobile.

9. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Well, when you're constantly getting kicked back to 3g I guess it means more.

11. ShadowHammer

Posts: 200; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

You may notice there's no actual scoring system. Just numbers of awards. People are free to value said awards individually to their heart's content. Also, it's pretty impressive if you think about how far T-Mobile has come in a short amount of time to compete with the big boys. That being said, T-Mobile isn't the best choice everywhere. People need to evaluate their own area they live in and decide if the pros outweigh the cons.

17. Techist

Posts: 311; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Yes, it is, because when you you go out of a 4g zone and drop into a 3g zone, you are far better off with T-Mobile than with any of the others.

33. fher182

Posts: 25; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Unless you have Verizon and you are always on 4G LTE

37. diyi75

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

I wasn't aware tmobile had 3g services....

8. NiCE2012

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Wish the ISPs are doing the same thing...

10. eDiesel

Posts: 142; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

Unlimited talk, text and 10Gb of LTE for $20/month. Unbeatable.

23. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Wow, I don't even get half of that data from fido and I'm paying over 3 times more per month...the carriers here in Canada are extremely greedy scumbags.

12. azuleyez

Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 07, 2012

I'm sorry guys, I can't help but to feel OpenSignal or whatever is getting paid for these 'tests'. I live in a very populated area outside a large metropolitan city, with numerous office buildings, homes, etc....basically, there are a lot of people here. I tried Verizon 2 years ago and the connection was virtually nonexistent. I could not connect to data whatsoever due to network congestion. I switched to AT&T and was very happy with the service and speeds. Two years go by and the problem persists just as badly as it did then. In fact, many of my coworkers simply can't connect to data, and nearly 50% (yes, 50%!!!) of SMS fails to send using multiple devices (iPhone, Galaxy, etc) Calling out is not a problem, but forget anything else. I travel occasionally and had a work phone with Verizon for a short period of time this past summer. I was amazed at how lackluster the data speeds were in airports, convention centers, etc. My AT&T service just blazed away without issue. So tell me, how is it Verizon continues to get all these accolades? Where exactly are these people testing?

24. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Good observation, just further proof that even "the largest network coverage" has dead spots in some areas.

29. dcgore

Posts: 234; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

I could not agree more. I live in Manhattan in New York City and just switched back to AT&T. Is it true that VZ has LTE coverage where i live/work? Yes, but what good does it do when i go into a movie theater, my apartment and the supermarket next door and get dropped down to 3g and 1X? Tmobile, simialar story, i can only get HSPA+ in my apartment but that said, it is quite speedy. I know the whole "strongest LTE signal" thing from AT&T is silly but but it really does matter. Very few times i got full bars with VZ, two to three was the norm. I had to turn VoLTE off because my calls keep dropping. Basically, i was an user on their 3G CDMA network in 2016.

13. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The reason we switched to t-mobile.

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