The impressive T-Mobile US download speed results are likely due to the progress of 5G mid-band spectrum deployments
The latest Opensignal 5G experience report revealed that T-Mobile US has “an impressive lead in 5G Download Speed” thanks to its deployment progress of mid-band spectrum. T-Mobile’s score increased 35.6% since July, hitting 118.7 Mbps, while Verizon saw their average 5G download speeds increase by only 3.7 Mbps to 56 Mbps and AT&T saw a 0.8 Mbps decline that brought it down to third place at 51.5 Mbps.
However, because AT&T and Verizon are about to receive the first batch of C-band spectrum in December, and also have their own mid-band plans, the pair might start seeing download speed improvements more comparable to T-Mobile’s when those deployments kick in.
AT&T has said it expects to cover 70-75 million people with its C-band spectrum by end-2022, rising to 200 million by end-2023. Verizon revealed that it plans to start using C-band spectrum in the first quarter of 2022, with initial coverage of around 100 million people, rising to more than 175 million people by 2023.
T-Mobile US also came out on top in the categories of 5G availability and 5G reach, according to Opensignal. T-Mobile US users connected to its next-gen services 34.7% of the time — a decrease from 36.3%, and the carrier achieved a score of 7.2 points out of 10-point for network reach.
For availability, this score represents than double the amount of time connected to 5G than for AT&T users, who were connected 16.4% of the time to 5G networks. Verizon users spent only 9.7% of the time with 5G service.
For reach, AT&T came in second with 4.9 points — a 0.6 decrease compared to July, and Verizon “follows at a distance,” with a score of 3.4 points, but shows the largest increase of 0.4 points compared to the previous report.
“Often, we see a seasonal effect on the mobile experience in the U.S. and other countries,” Opensignal stated in the report. “A drop in 5G Availability was likely due to seasonality as mobile users spend more time outdoors in different, more rural, parts of the country during the warmer months.”
When it comes to services on the network, Opensignal found that Verizon maintained its title of best 5G Video Experience with a score of 61.3 points, which is statistically unchanged compared to its previous score of 61.2 points from the previous report, while AT&T users saw their 5G Video Experience score decrease from 61.3 points to 50.6 points — a 17.5% change. This decline puts AT&T in last place, somewhat of a fall from grace after jointly winning the award with Verizon in July. T-Mobile saw a slight improvement of 0.6 points to its 5G Video Experience, after scoring 54.8 points last time.
Version also took home first place in the 5G Games Experience category with a score of 80.6 points on a 100-point scale, ahead of AT&T and T-Mobile which scored 73 points and 67.2 points, respectively.
Below, is a regional analysis of the findings. “T-Mobile dominates our regional 5G Download Speed award table as it wins outright in D.C., as well as in all 35 states analyzed,” Opensignal wrote.
In September, Opensignal released a report with a more global outlook on 5G progress and impact, concluding that the average 5G download speed globally is 447.8 Mbps, with FarEasTone users in Taiwan getting the fastest 5G download speed of all.
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