T-Mobile boasts 130x more 5G network coverage than Verizon, AT&T takes the speed lead
Taking the meat from the latest state of the mobile union from Ookla
, the makers of Speedtest, T-Mobile didn't miss the opportunity to brag with the findings that it is excelling in one very important 5G metric - availability.
"In its Q2 2020 Speedtest United States Market Report measuring 4G and 5G coverage and speed, Ookla found that T-Mobile customers get a 5G signal in nearly 20x more cities than Verizon and AT&T combined (and almost 130x more than Verizon alone). And, Un-carrier customers with 5G devices have faster “5G capable” speeds than Verizon,"
It seems that T-Mobile's takeaway is a bit generous with the numbers, as they count all individual towns in a metro area to arrive at the '20x' or 130x' claims, as opposed to metro areas with a total number of people. If you take Boston, MA, for instance, AT&T's coverage blankets to multiple towns in the greater Boston area, such as Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline, Newtown, and many others but the carrier counts this as one metro area. A fairer representation would be the number of people being covered with AT&T’s 5G network spreading
over 179 million people in the aforementioned metro areas, and T-Mobile covering 225 million, not nearly the overcount that individual towns compared to metro areas represent.
Still, the merger with Sprint was considered a success, with Big Magenta now hot on the heels of the top dogs subscriber numbers, and already showing the first 5G network synergies after the merger, at least in cities like New York or Philadelphia, with phones from the newest Galaxy S20
There is a lot of network to take advantage of, too. The combined holdings of T-Mobile and Sprint have 319 MHz of spectrum even without the fast mmWave bands. That's already double the AT&T and almost triple the Verizon amount. In the fast high-bands, where all the gigabit speeds magic happens, the mmWave spectrum holdings of T-Mobile and Sprint are 1,160 MHz, second only to Verizon's.
The new T-Mobile has already flipped the switch on its post-merger "layer cake" 5G coverage in Philly and Manhattan. Philadelphia is, after all, one of the few areas with 5G coverage from all major carriers, and, naturally, became a battleground of speed and coverage claims.
The combined Sprint and T-Mobile 5G network blanketed almost 38% of Philly even before merging the bands. With the 2.5GHz band at its disposal, no wonder that T-Mobile now boasts how its Philadelphia 5G network alone beats Verizon's whole nationwide mmWave coverage area.
T-Mobile vs Verizon, AT&T and Sprint average 5G-capable phone download speeds
As you can see, T-Mobile might not have the fastest 5G coverage speeds of "all tests taken on 5G-capable devices, which would include LTE and older technologies," - that goes to AT&T - but it does well, and when it comes to availability, here's Ookla's scoop:
As of July 5, 2020, there were 5,164 cities with commercially available 5G deployments in the U.S. according to the Ookla 5G Map. T-Mobile had the majority of these deployments with 5,013. AT&T had 237 deployments and Verizon Wireless 39. The number of T-Mobile 5G deployments suggests that they had significantly more 5G coverage as of Q2 than the other carriers combined. This conclusion is also supported by Ookla data. While Sprint did show 5G results during Q2 2020, T-Mobile has since shut down those sites.