Technology

The latest 5G network performance report shows a familiar face at the top

We’re past the middle of 2022, and according to one wireless test company, the 5G performance rating is a lot like it was at the beginning of the year. And that’s good news if you use T-Mobile’s wireless services.

According to the latest RootMetrics report (will open in a new tab), T-Mobile has retained its place as the best 5G network in the US due to its speed and affordability. While these factors make it hard for rivals Verizon and AT&T to dislodge T-Mobile as the top 5G mobile carrier, the two networks made big strides in the first half of the year.

In particular, Verizon is looking promising with the addition of the integrated 5G C-Band that went online earlier in the year. RootMetrics found that in areas where C-band spectrum was available, it provided significant speed improvements, reaching over 250Mbps in one market. Combined with Verizon’s continued dominance of RootMetrics’ 5G data reliability, the handset provider could soon be within reach of T-Mobile.

T-Mobile still has the best 5G availability

According to RootMetrics, T-Mobile dominates this market in terms of 5G coverage. Uncarrier had the highest 5G availability in 100 markets, beating out AT&T (39 markets) and Verizon (3 markets).

In fact, T-Mobile was the only carrier not to record less than 55% 5G availability in any market. 5G availability has also increased in 110 markets for T-Mobile, more than any of the other two mobile carriers.

Chart from RootMetrics showing 5G availability in H1 2022.

(Image credit: RootMetrics)

However, Verizon and AT&T have made some improvements, especially Verizon. Big Red improved in 99 markets and increased 5G availability to 85% or higher in five more cities than in the last six months of 2021.

AT&T has failed in some markets, with 5G coverage below 25% in 36 markets. However, the carrier has been successful in 85 markets and had more markets than Verizon with 85% or more 5G network coverage.

Verizon C-Band improves 5G speeds, but still lags behind T-Mobile

While Verizon and AT&T were probably hoping to catch up with T-Mobile with their new 5G C-band spectrum networks, they still have a little way to go before they can claim the top spot. T-Mobile’s average download speed was phenomenal: over 250 Mbps in nearly 40 markets; it also boasts the only network that has not recorded speeds below 25Mbps.

Chart from RootMetrics showing median 5G download speed

(Image credit: RootMetrics)

However, the C-Band did give Verizon a big edge. C-Band is a type of 5G mid-band spectrum that AT&T and Verizon have accessed and have just started rolling out in the US.

Growth looks average for AT&T, in part because its deployment is more limited than Verizon’s approach. RootMetrics only registered C-band spectrum in 23 markets for AT&T and 81 markets for Verizon. This allowed Verizon to increase 5G speeds in 63 cities where it used its C-band spectrum.

T-Mobile is using mid-band 5G, though it won’t launch C-band spectrum networks until 2023. However, its mid-range holdings acquired through the Sprint merger gave Uncarrier a significant boost. This is an important reason why T-Mobile has held the title of the fastest 5G network for 12 consecutive months.

5G reliability remains Verizon’s strong suit

This was one area where AT&T’s 5G network stood out. AT&T phones successfully connected to 5G in their market 99.5% of the time across 107 markets, better than any other network.

Chart from RootMetrics showing 5G reliability

(Image credit: RootMetrics)

Unfortunately, this is the end of AT&T’s highlights, where the carrier has only managed to stay connected in 54 of those markets, well behind T-Mobile and Verizon. T-Mobile made small improvements in both areas, but remained third in connectivity and second in staying connected.

Verizon has been the clear winner in terms of 5G reliability. It had a successful connection in just five markets than AT&T, but remained connected in more than 100 markets, a feat not seen on any other network. This was the third consecutive 6-month period that Verizon’s 5G network received the best reliability for RootMetrics.

T-Mobile still ranks first among 5G networks according to RootMetrics.

While Verizon and AT&T had access to C-band spectrum, which resulted in some really big improvements, it failed to catch up with T-Mobile in the first half of the year. To be honest, we’re not surprised as this is in line with previous test results.

Chart showing T-Mobile 5G was the best by RootMetrics in H1 2022.

(Image credit: RootMetrics)

Speed ​​data in the second quarter of this year showed that T-Mobile was the fastest mobile network in the US, and that dominance is also evident in its 5G networks. The 5G market is constantly changing, but for now, T-Mobile’s reign has remained fairly constant.

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