AT&T and Verizon eke out just one 5G network quality category award each against T-Mobile

T-Mobile has once again reaped the benefits of its Sprint merger synergy as it has scored the July 2022 award for operating the best 5G network in the US. The score is given by the independent research firm Umlaut whose latest report found T-Mobile with the widest 5G coverage and the most stable next-gen network.

Where T-Mobile gives way is passive download speeds as AT&T scores higher on that count. That’s explicable given that the scope of T-Mobile’s 5G network is that wide on account of the fact a bunch of it is on the lower, slower frequencies that get beaten by every more robust 4G LTE network around.

The crowdsourced test data has been collected over 24 weeks until July 10, so it’s pretty fresh and telling. T-Mobile is a bit ahead of AT&T in terms of coverage and latency, and way ahead both Verizon or AT&T in terms of active download and upload speeds, or 5G network stability.

With the recent deployment of the C-band mid-frequencies by Ma Bell and Big Red the equation may change, but the process of catching up to T-Mobile will be slow and painful for them. The only category where Verizon’s fast but very limited 5G network shines is overall latency.

Thankfully, in terms of the more important 4G LTE coverage both AT&T and Verizon are ahead of T-Mobile, especially in rural areas, but its rapid 5G network deployment made possible by the mid-band frequencies it inherited from Sprint have now made Big Magenta the current market leader at places where it offers signal. 

Umlaut’s tests are crowdsourced, i.e. done by people who tend to congregate in cities and especially their more central parts where T-Mobile has coverage which is on par with the best of them.


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