The three big telecommunications companies, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, have been fighting to one-up each other in their mobile infrastructure. Each company has a nationwide network of cell towers that provides cellular coverage to mobile devices across the country.
With the emergence of 5G as the new major iteration of mobile networks, the infrastructure of each company is evolving considerably. 5G is poised to replace 4G as the primary mobile network available for consumers, and whoever builds the best 5G infrastructure is going to be ahead of the game when it comes to having the best coverage in the 2020s.
Here, Navi provides details on which provider has the best cell phone towers right now.
How Do Cell Towers Work?
Cell towers work by receiving and transmitting radio signals. Your mobile device emits electromagnetic signals that the cell towers receive when you make a phone call or send a text message. The tower then takes these signals and sends them to a switching center that either sends the message to another device or to another network.
Cell towers exist across the nation, and there need to be cell towers within range of a device for that device to connect to a network successfully. The cell coverage of a telecommunications company depends on how many cell towers they utilize and the strength of the signals they use.
Each of the big three companies has its own infrastructure, and they all have differing levels of coverage.
AT&T’s Cell Tower Coverage
AT&T covers 68% of the country with its 4G LTE network making it slightly behind Verizon, which sits at 70%. Along the western seaboard, AT&T has a huge volume of cell towers with great coverage for people in that region. While 4G is neck and neck, AT&T has 5% more 5G coverage than Verizon, sitting at 18%. The company is currently throwing a lot of resources at expanding this coverage over the course of the decade to try and surpass what they reached with 4G.
As far as mobile networks go, AT&T strikes a good middle ground between AT&T and Verizon. Verizon has slightly better 4G coverage, while AT&T has better 5G coverage. If you like the phone plans and hardware options that AT&T has to offer, then their cell coverage will deliver as needed as well.
T-Mobile’s Cell Tower Coverage
T-Mobile actually has the worst 4G coverage of the group, with only 62% of the country covered. This is 8% lower than Verizon and 6% lower than AT&T. 4G is currently the main type of mobile network available, meaning that in 2022 T-Mobile has the least reliable nationwide network.
However, T-Mobile really shines when it comes to 5G connectivity. T-Mobile covers a whopping 41% of the country, heavily outshining the 18% and 12.77% of AT&T and Verizon respectively. This was achieved by utilizing a low band 5G network that is slower than that of AT&T and Verizon but much more accessible.
It is possible that this will cause future-proofing problems if the other companies manage to catch up in terms of network size with improved speed and network power. This means that if you are interested in 5G but don’t need the most powerful network on the market, T-Mobile could be the right decision.
Verizon’s Cell Tower Coverage
Verizon currently has 4G LTE coverage in 70% of the country and 5G coverage in 12.77% of the country. While its 5G coverage is lagging behind some of the competition, its 4G LTE coverage comes in ahead of both AT&T and T-Mobile. Verizon is renowned for having reliable coverage across the nation, and these services are available in a big portion of the country.
This all means that if you want to look at who has the best mobile network coverage as of 2022, Verizon comes out on top. In terms of future-proofing its network, Verizon isn’t as advanced as other companies due to being behind when it comes to 5G infrastructure. It remains to be seen whether or not Verizon will catch up before 5G becomes the primary way we interface with mobile networks.
There really isn’t a clear winner when it comes to who has the best cell towers in the nation. Each company has its pros and cons that will attract different people based on their needs.
AT&T sits in the middle with reliable 4G and 5G with a solid path forward to evolve the 5G network. Verizon has great 4G coverage, but it is lagging behind the competition when it comes to getting its 5G network ready for the coming decade. And T-Mobile has by far the widest reach in its 5G at the expense of technological innovation and speed.
Overall, there are plenty of reasons to go with any of these carriers as of 2022. The thing to keep in mind is that all of these infrastructures are going to evolve over the course of the decade as these companies start to set their 5G expansion into high gear. There is no way of knowing which company will have the best structure of cell phone towers five years from now.
It is best to pay attention to your own needs when analyzing these networks. If a strong connection right now is what you want, then try out Verizon’s fantastically reliable 4G network. If you want to push ahead and have 5G connectivity in as much of the country as possible, then you are going to want to try T-Mobile.
If you are looking for something in the middle, then AT&T is the way to go. Whichever cell phone provider option you choose, be ready for these networks to continue to transform and compete with one another over the next several years.
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