Verizon vs T-Mobile vs AT&T: new 5G speed tests break 100 Mbps barrier for the first time

Verizon vs T-Mobile vs AT&T: new 5G speed tests break 100 Mbps barrier for the first time
There are a lot of big and small mobile analytics and market research firms around that like to regularly evaluate and rank the top three US wireless service providers based on different aspects of the network experience and relying on different measures of assessing overall performance, but when it comes to the reliability and independence of the data collected nationwide, Opensignal is pretty much impossible to beat.

The company's latest in-depth quarterly report focuses on 5G user experience (what else?), crunching billions of individual measurements from millions of devices conducted in the June 14 - September 11 timeframe to conclude yet again that T-Mobile is well ahead of its arch-rivals in arguably the most important categories.

All of the 5G speed and availability trophies are colored in magenta

Just because the "Un-carrier" has made a little less noise than usual in the last few months as far as 5G coverage expansions and speed upgrades are concerned, that doesn't mean the rollouts and improvements have slowed down in any substantial way.

Quite the opposite, if we are to believe Opensignal's newest tests, which put T-Mo's average 5G download speeds well above 100 Mbps for the first time ever. Incredibly enough, Magenta has managed to jump from 58.1 Mbps back in April and 87.5 Mbps in July to no less than 118.7 Mbps now, absolutely crushing Verizon and AT&T's latest averages of 56 and 51.5 Mbps respectively.

That's right, T-Mobile is even ahead of the combined 5G download speed scores of its competition, which is a truly outstanding achievement that could never have been possible without the wealth of mid-band spectrum acquired from Sprint last year.

Of course, Big Red and Ma Bell are trying hard to catch up in that field, but while the two's long-term mid-band 5G deployment plans certainly sound ambitious, Magenta is likely to hold on to a comfortable lead for at least a couple more years.

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The same goes for both the 5G availability and 5G reach categories, which are once again easily dominated by the nation's second-largest mobile network operator in terms of subscribers thanks to an industry-leading combination of low and mid-band resources.

5G upload speeds, meanwhile, are a key component of the overall wireless service equation where Verizon actually stands a chance of going for gold in the near future. Unfortunately for Big Red, the relatively small gap between the gold and silver medalists in that particular contest is larger than the one registered three months ago, further highlighting T-Mobile's continuous progress across the board.

Verizon is a triple crown winner too

While three is smaller than four, Verizon's October 2021 awards tally does at least surpass the big zero listed in AT&T's W column. Big Red can certainly be happy about winning the 5G video experience title outright this time around after sharing the laurels with Ma Bell back in July while also retaining its 5G games and 5G voice app experience trophies.

Then again, Verizon's scores actually dropped in those latter two categories since July, with the 5G video experience figure staying "statistically unchanged" and 5G availability slipping from 10.5 to 9.7 percent.

Worse still, the nation's largest wireless service provider by the number of customers is unable to take home any individual 5G availability, reach, or download speed gold ribbons awarded in 35 "leading" 5G states, as well as the Washington, D.C. capital.

Bottom line, these three months were not the greatest for Verizon, but AT&T performed even worse nationally despite winning California's 5G reach contest, for instance.

In addition to falling from first to third (!!!) place in 5G video experience, AT&T registered huge overall 5G availability and 5G reach declines... for some mysterious reason while slightly improving its 5G upload speed figure and slightly depreciating in the same 5G download speed category where T-Mobile gained a whopping 31.2 Mbps in a single quarter. Now that's a bad look for Ma Bell!

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