RootMetrics released its latest report on the state of 5G and the results are exactly what one would expect.
According to the report, Verizon had the fastest 5G network by a wide margin. Its fastest median speeds were 247 Mbps, while its fastest maximum speeds were 845.7 Mbps. In contrast, Sprint was the next fastest with 136.7 Mbps median and 249.9 Mbps maximum. AT&T clocked in at 47.1 Mbps and 175.2 Mbps, while T-Mobile brought up the rear with 34.0 Mbps and 147.8 Mbps.
Looking at coverage, however, was a very different story. Verizon’s 5G availability in the cities tested was a mere 3.1%. AT&T’s availability was 9.5%, while Sprint’s was 45.7% and T-Mobile led the pack at 57.1%.
Given that Verizon has focused on the high frequency mmWave variety of 5G, the results are not surprising. mmWave offers the fastest speeds possible, but at the cost of extremely limited range and building penetration. In contrast, while T-Mobile has some mmWave 5G, it has been focusing on low-band spectrum that delivers speeds comparable to strong LTE, but offers better range and penetration. Sprint’s 5G is in the mid-range bands, which many experts consider the sweet spot of speed and range. Once the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is complete, T-Mobile will have access to that spectrum to compliment its low-band and mmWave offerings.
While Verizon may be the undisputed speed king, it will need to do something to truly deliver on the promise of 5G, as most customers would probably take slower, more readily available over blazingly fast 3% of the time.