Fresh set of 4G and 5G speed tests highlights T-Mobile's supremacy over Verizon and AT&T

Fresh set of 4G and 5G speed tests highlights T-Mobile's supremacy over Verizon and AT&T
As long as you don't need to use 2G to save battery life, T-Mobile's download and upload speeds are generally pretty impressive nowadays

The "Un-carrier's" rapidly growing subscriber numbers strongly suggest that all those post-Sprint merger 5G network expansion moves are achieving their desired results, and while different research firms have bestowed their most recent top prizes to different operators, everyone seems to agree Magenta's short and long-term deployment strategies make the most sense.

Of course, that's primarily because T-Mo's resources far outweigh those of the competition, at least until Verizon can actually take advantage of the costly new chunk of C-band spectrum acquired in the FCC's biggest ever auction. Basically, there's simply no way for Big Red, as well as AT&T, to challenge the near-perfect balance of speed and 5G network availability currently delivered by T-Mobile's "Ultra Capacity", aka mid-band, signal.

Unlike the considerably slower low-band (or Extended Range) 5G network, this technology doesn't cover the entire nation... yet, but pretty much everywhere you can get a mid-band signal right now, said technology provides a huge boost to the average speed scores, leaving the "Un-carrier's" rivals in the dust. The latest report to highlight this major and relatively widespread benefit comes from a company called umlaut and was paid for by T-Mobile, which doesn't make its findings any less reliable.

Five speed tests, one clear winner


While Magenta is already touting an impressive (theoretical) mid-band 5G coverage of 106 million people across 2,400 US cities and towns, umlaut chose to focus on just five (large) markets, conducting thousand and thousands of performance measurements per wireless service provider in February 2021 using the same device: Samsung's exceptional Galaxy S20+.

 

In addition to dominating every single 5G average download and upload speed chart, T-Mo also won all five overall 4G/5G upload speed gold medals while "settling" for four overall 4G/5G average download speed wins.

That means Magenta is the champion across the board in Atlanta, Dallas - Fort Worth, Newark - Jersey City, and Philadelphia, while AT&T is the somewhat surprising winner of the 4G/5G average speed performance contest in Phoenix. Phoenix, however, happens to be the only one of these five markets where Ma Bell hasn't "properly" released 5G yet, barely hitting 10 percent availability, which reminds us how far 4G LTE has come and how poorly low-band 5G performs in many places.

Strictly looking at mid-band 5G speeds, it's pretty awesome to see local averages ranging from 170 to 260 Mbps. Although nowhere near as great as the numbers produced by Verizon using state-of-the-art mmWave technology... here and there, these are certainly the kind of improvement over 4G LTE that the wireless industry needs to move forward over the next couple of years.

AT&T is a solid contender for the 5G availability title


The nation's third-largest mobile network operator in terms of user figures rarely comes up in conversations forecasting the industry leaders of tomorrow, but at least in the five markets surveyed last month, Ma Bell shines... as far as 5G availability is concerned.

 

While AT&T incredibly managed to edge out T-Mobile from that standpoint in Atlanta, Newark - Jersey City, and Philadelphia, the lack of both mid and high-band 5G technology results in a lot of third-place standings for the carrier where it matters most - speeds.

As far as Verizon is concerned, we'd be remiss not to point out its 5G availability scores are getting better and better since the market-leading operator joined the "nationwide" 5G game with the help of a somewhat controversial technology dubbed DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing). Combined with Big Red's pitiful Ultra Wideband coverage, this is most likely the reason why T-Mobile is able to easily win all these speed battles.

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