Comparing 5G Networks
Given the relative youth of the technology, these companies are at drastically different stages when it comes to implementing 5G and rolling out the necessary hardware.
While all three companies have extensive cellular plans revolving around their 5G integration, the services provided by each are radically different.
T-Mobile 5G Stats
When focusing purely on coverage, T-Mobile wins by a landslide. T-Mobile covers a whopping 53.79% of the nation, dwarfing both Verizon and AT&T. A big part of this was their absorption of Sprint’s national network, giving them more hardware to work with to edge over the competition.
Another big reason for this is that T-Mobile is utilizing a less advanced 600MHz 5G. While AT&T and Verizon are attempting to expand their more advanced mmWave 5G, T-Mobile is prioritizing quantity over quality by coating as much of the country as possible.
With its low band and mid-band rollouts combined, T-Mobile’s 5G network hits speeds of around 160Mbps. This is not as fast as Verizon and AT&T’s networks, but it is a marked improvement over T-Mobile’s 4G speeds.
Each of T-Mobile’s three primary unlimited plans comes with 5G accessibility. The Essentials plan starts at $65 per line, the Magenta plan starts at $85 per line, and the Magenta Max starts at $90 per line.
All three plans come with unlimited hotspot data, while the Magenta plans also come with a Netflix subscription. Each plan is cheaper per person, with every line added up to five lines.
Verizon 5G Stats
Verizon came out strong with 4G, offering coverage to 71% of the country, beating out AT&T at 68% and T-Mobile at 63%. However, when it comes to 5G coverage, Verizon is currently only covering 12.77% of the country.
The company makes up for this by utilizing high band mmWave 5G for most of its network, which is why rolling it out has been so slow. 5G speeds in areas where Verizon has fully integrated it are top of the line; however, there are very few places where this is the case at this time.
Theoretically, Verizon’s 5G could hit 2.5GBps, but as of now, it is not far enough along to be getting close to those numbers. T-Mobile’s speeds will generally outpace Verizon until its 5G network is further along.
Verizon’s unlimited plans all support 5G, starting from the basic $70 5G Start plan and going all the way up to the $90 5G Get More Plan. Verizon’s plans include a very wide array of perks, including:
- Disney Plus
- ESPN Plus
- Apple Music
- Travel Pass
- Verizon Cloud Storage
While pricey, Verizon’s 5G plans come with a lot of bang for their buck.
AT&T 5G Stats
AT&T is the only carrier to have expanded its 5G infrastructure into all 50 States. It currently sits at 29.52% coverage, dwarfing Verizon while still trailing T-Mobile considerably.
AT&T strikes a middle ground between Verizon and T-Mobile; its network speeds are not as ambitious as Verizon, and its coverage area is not nearly as expansive as T-Mobile. The company utilizes a mix of high and low band 5G that is more similar to T-Mobile’s network than Verizon’s.
AT&T’s unlimited starter plan costs $65, the unlimited extra plan costs $75, and the unlimited elite plan costs $85. The subscription comes with HBO Max and six months of Stadia Pro at its highest tier.
Which 5G Network Is Best?
As of 2022, T-Mobile has the best 5G network.
Its coverage is miles ahead of the competition, and connection speeds are respectively exceeding what users could expect with 4G. Anyone who wants to start utilizing 5G as soon as possible is going to want to go with T-Mobile.
Verizon is a strong option for people who want to have strong 4G coverage while they wait for 5G to grow. It has the best 4G coverage in the nation, and while its 5G coverage is moving slowly, it is building on an ambitious mmWave network that could end up setting new records in terms of speed in the coming decade.
AT&T is the hardest company to recommend, given its middle-ground status. T-Mobile has better coverage, and Verizon is more ambitious, leaving AT&T without much to say for itself. It has very respectable 5G coverage, and if you already have AT&T, there is not necessarily a reason to switch, but it is making the fewest moves when it comes to expanding 5G.
5G is changing the way we interface with cellular internet, and Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T are going to continue attempting to one-up each other as the technology grows and becomes mainstream.
T-Mobile is ahead of the curb, sporting high speeds and amazing 5G coverage, making it the company to go with for people who are focused on 5G. The mobile infrastructure and phone plans of these cell carriers are constantly changing, so consider using Navi to keep up with the latest trends.
Navi can analyze your phone plan and help you determine the best options for you based on your needs to make sure you are never overpaying. Navi provides industry insight and tips to put you in control of your mobile hardware and software.
The emergence of 5G has been a sign of big changes in the telecommunications world, and it can be tough to keep up. Make sure you use the tools available to keep an eye on 5G and how it changes the current mobile wireless landscape. T-Mobile is the company to beat for now, and Verizon and AT&T are sure to make big moves to try and catch up in the coming years.
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Verizon vs. AT&T vs. T-Mobile compared: How to pick the best 5G carrier for you | CNET