How to tell whether T-Mobile's 5G service will get faster in your area

How to tell whether T-Mobile's 5G service will get faster in your area
According to SlashGear, T-Mobile subscribers, over 60 million of them, are expected to experience improved 5G over the next few days. The nation's second-largest wireless provider will soon start using the 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum that it won in FCC Auction 108 in August 2022. T-Mobile had the winning bid on 7,156 2.5GHz mid-band licenses in 2,724 counties but until recently, it could not use these licenses because Congress had allowed the FCC's auction authority to expire.

Eventually, special legislation was created called the 5G SALE Act which, after getting signed by President Biden, allowed T-Mobile to get those licenses it won from the FCC. T-Mobile says that once it starts using the additional mid-band airwaves, there is a "good chance you'll get a 5G boost where you travel, work or play."  The 2.5GHz spectrum is one of the keys to T-Mobile's 5G leadership in the U.S. 

Unlike high-band mmWave spectrum, mid-band travels longer distances and isn't as easily blocked by a tree, a building, or a really, really tall NBA player walking in the line of a signal. And while the data speeds delivered by mid-band are not as fast as the insanely zippy mmWave airwaves are, they are much faster than the speeds you get from low-band spectrum. This is why many call mid-band the Goldilocks of 5G spectrum.

You can see if your area is currently receiving T-Mobile's 5G Ultra Capacity service by checking out the carrier's coverage map. Type in your address, press the button, and you will see a map of your area. The map shows that in Salem, Mass., T-Mobile subscribers are receiving 5G Ultra Capacity service. Carriers must be conjuring up some potent wireless brew in Salem because the area also has a strong Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband signal.

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Should the map show that your region only gets T-Mobile's slower 5G Extended Coverage, that could mean that the 600MHz low-band spectrum in your market is about to be joined by some of the additional mid-band 2.5GHz airwaves that T-Mobile is rolling out in the U.S. which will greatly speed up your 5G experience. Those living in rural areas of the U.S. could also see an improvement in their 5G wireless service.

If you feel ambitious, you can chart T-Mobile's 5G speeds by installing Ookla's Speedtest app to check on your data speeds in the same location multiple times a day. Make sure that your phone is not connected to a Wi-Fi signal while using the app otherwise, you'll be measuring how fast your Wi-Fi service is. I mean, that's good to know too, but the point here is to confirm that your 5G service from T-Mobile is getting faster as it starts deploying the 2.5GHz licenses from Auction 108.

To install Ookla's Speedtest app on your iPhone, tap on this link. To install it on your Android phone, tap on this link. If you spot a rising trend of higher download speeds over the next week, it probably is a sign that T-Mobile has added more 2.5GHz airwaves in your area.

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