T-Mobile beats the competition in 5G speeds | Cult of Mac

T-Mobile beats the competition in 5G speeds


T-Mobile 5G service
Put your iPhone on T-Mobile for the fastest average speeds,
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is the clear winner in a cross-country study of cellular data by PCMag. For the second year in a row, rivals Verizon and AT&T can not come close to providing the same average download or upload speeds.

PCMag summed its results up with, “T-Mobile isn’t just America’s fastest network, it’s also the best.”

T-Mobile is tops in U.S. telecoms

iPhone offers 5G cellular-wireless access, with its promise of easy mobile video and super-fast mobile downloads. But exactly how quick a connection each handset gets depends tremendously on the telecom it’s connected to.

And of the U.S. nationwide carriers, the best option is T-Mobile. The PCMag study found that its average download speed is 264 Mbps, compared to Verizon’s 157 Mbps and AT&T’s 79 Mbps.

“In the cities, T-Mobile has by far the least connections under 50Mbps, and it really pulls away from the competition in connections between 300 to 600Mbps,” said PCMag‘s Sascha Segan.

T-Mobile leads in upload speeds too, with an average of 33 Mbps. Verizon offers 23 Mbps and AT&T offers 21 Mbps.

The three tied in dropped calls with only 1% each.

Covers the cities and rural areas

PCMag‘s study involves driving more than 10,000 miles around the United States. The cellular-wireless networks are tested all along the route.

T-Mobile has the best speed results in 19 cities, while Verizon came out on top in nine and AT&T won in just two cities.

But T-Mobile has some weak spots. “T-Mobile is also doing better than ever before in rural areas, although it gets docked slightly for still having more rural data dead zones outside the Northeast than the other two carriers do,” noted Segan. It’s weak in the rural Northwest and Georgia.

But the study emphasizes more populous areas. Less than 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, and so 16% of scores come from these areas.

Looking ahead

PCMag does this study every year, and it finds that two of the telecoms are offering better service than in 2021, but not all three.

“Both T-Mobile and Verizon see dramatically increased nationwide speeds this year as they expand their mid-band 5G networks,” said Segan. “But AT&T’s speeds decline, as it has added very little capacity while data demands grew.”


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