T-Mobile keeps sweeping the 5G awards as it continues its insanely fast network expansion

T-Mobile keeps sweeping the 5G awards as it continues its insanely fast network expansion
T-Mobile might not be the number one US carrier in terms of subscribers (yet), but many wireless industry analysts seem to believe Verizon's supremacy will not last forever. The main reason why Big Red is expected to waste away its advantage, which looked pretty much impossible to overcome not that long ago, is Magenta's early lead in the 5G infrastructure field.

The "Un-carrier" likes to tout and flaunt said lead on every possible occasion, employing all the advertising tricks in the book, ranging from the most unconventional stunts to simply laying out the facts in blog posts penned by top executives and even commissioning special reports examining "real" 5G user experiences.

Yet another 5G coverage update and an optimistic look toward the future

It was only a little over a month ago that T-Mo announced its Extended Range 5G network reached a huge milestone several months ahead of schedule, but President of Technology Neville Ray is already proud to confirm the 300 million number has grown to 305.

That's 305 million people, or "nearly everyone in the country", theoretically covered by the low-band 5G signal that originally launched "nationwide" back at the end of 2019

The technology, which is not considerably faster than your phone's good old fashioned 4G LTE connectivity according to most analytics firms, has gradually grown nationwider and nationwider in the last 18 months, far outpacing the expansions of AT&T and Verizon's own "nationwide" 5G networks.

In fact, Neville Ray claims this is now the "largest 5G FDD network" in the whole wide world, occupying no less than 1.7 million square miles (up from 1.6 million last month) for nearly twice AT&T's 5G footprint and more than four times (!!!) the size of Verizon's 5G coverage.

Believe it or not, Ray also has an even more impressive stat to share today, although the number is technically smaller. Said figure is 165 million people (up from 150 million), representing the towering coverage of T-Mobile's mid-band Ultra Capacity 5G signal.

That's the truly game-changing technology the "Un-carrier" could have never pulled off at this scale without Sprint, providing average download speeds of 350 Mbps for the masses. That 165 million number is expected to jump to 200 million people, which apparently equates to "nationwide" availability in T-Mo's book, by the end of 2021, absolutely crushing even Verizon and AT&T's distant goals.

If Neville Ray's math is correct, the competition will barely get to 100 million people (at best) sometime in 2022 and 200 million at the end of 2023 with their C-band rollouts, which haven't even started yet. Obviously, T-Mobile will not stop at 200 million, targeting 300 million Ultra Capacity 5G coverage in 2023, which actually sounds like an easily achievable goal.

The most reliable 5G network in the US

If you're having a strong sense of deja vu looking at the newest comprehensive report put together by umlaut, you'll be relieved to know you're not alone.

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This is just the latest in a string of titles, awards, and crowns earned by T-Mo in the last few weeks for everything from 5G network reliability to 5G speeds and availability. Of course, it's rare to see a market research firm hand out all these prizes to a single carrier, both across the nation and in 10 individual major metros.

But here we are, commending Magenta's narrow nationwide 5G speed lead over Verizon, as well as its significantly larger advantages in both 5G reliability and 5G coverage, ultimately yielding a total "5G score" of 707 (out of 1000 maximum points), compared to 632 and 599 for Ma Bell and Big Red respectively.

Interestingly, T-Mobile opts to highlight its latest 5G network reliability crown rather than the 5G speed title as the biggest achievement of this "independent" report. Reliability stands for a combination of metrics, mind you, including the ability to find a 5G signal, the ability to actually connect to said network, and the ability to provide "sufficient" download speeds to support "popular" services for 5G users.

Separately, Magenta "commissioned" umlaut to conduct some 5G research focused specifically on Austin, Texas, Charlotte, North Carolina, Chicago, Dallas - Fort Worth, Houston, Minneapolis - St. Paul, New York City, Newark - Jersey City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. 

Unsurprisingly, T-Mobile reigned supreme pretty much across the board, winning ten out of ten 5G speed titles and "only" seven 5G availability gold medals. Too bad not everyone lives in a metropolitan area, and at least for the time being, one analytics firm still views Verizon as the best overall wireless service provider in the US.

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