5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers (2023)

5G performance is dependent on spectrum. Indeed, the spectrum a user receives, is dependent on the smartphone they own. Specifically, each smartphone supports different spectrum bands. Additionally, the carrier that the user is with, such as AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile also has access to i) different spectrum bands and ii) amounts of that spectrum, known as bandwidth. These carriers make this spectrum available to their subscribers, which, in turn, drives 5G performance.

Below, we discuss the three key types of 5G spectrum, being low-, mid- and high-band. Additionally, we outline which spectrum bands can be used in the latest 5G-capable smartphones. Furthermore, we provide a breakdown of which U.S. carriers (i.e., Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile) have the strongest spectrum holdings. Finally, we detail how spectrum ties into a greater need for digital infrastructure.

What is Spectrum and Why is it Important?

Spectrum is the lifeblood of the wireless industry. In order to build a fully operational 5G network, United States carriers need to have three layers of spectrum. Specifically, these include low-, mid- and high-band. Low-band is typically the first layer of deployment, as it provides much better coverage than mid- and high-band frequencies. Low-band is comprised of 4G/LTE frequencies that are re-farmed to be used in 5G through dynamic spectrum sharing. In the middle, are mid-band frequencies, which are sub-6 GHz, and include 3.5 GHz, a global standard. Finally, high-band spectrum comprises ultra-wide frequencies that are typically 24 GHz and higher.

Ultimately, all frequency bands will be part of 5G. Indeed, this means that United States carriers will be able to leverage their full spectrum portfolio and coverage capabilities. Carriers will have to combine their low-, mid- and high-band spectrum in order to deliver users the performance that they expect. Whether it is for video streaming, autonomous vehicles, or advanced enterprise use cases.

U.S. Carriers Deploying 5G Spectrum in a Layer Cake

The combined channels of low-, mid- and high-band spectrum together form what is known as a “layer cake”. Specifically, the layer cake is critical for the type of 5G services that customers can use on a ubiquitous basis nationwide, in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Indeed, it is the combination of low-, mid- and high-band spectrum that enables more capacity and an increase in speeds for customers.

5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers (1)

For nationwide coverage of the United States, the only way for carriers to implement 5G is through the layer cake approach to spectrum. Firstly, low-band covers broad geographies and penetrates buildings well. Secondly, the populous areas use mid-band. Thirdly, when it becomes very dense, high-band (or millimeter wave / mmWave) spectrum covers areas such as inside stadiums and event locations.

5G Spectrum and Performance for Users

The 5G performance that users receive depends a lot on what signal (or spectrum) their 5G phone runs on.

(Video) 5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers

Higher Frequency vs. Lower Frequency

Higher frequency bands are characterized by signals that have higher capacity. This means that a higher amount of traffic / data can be transmitted. However, the downside is that these higher frequency signals travel shorter distances.

Lower frequency bands are characterized by signals that have lower capacity. This means that a lower amount of traffic / data can be transmitted. However, the upside is that these signals travel longer distances.

Major Smartphone Compatibility with Different Spectrum Bands

5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers (2)
iPhone 12 – Compatibility
  • Low-band spectrum including 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and 850 MHz frequencies
  • Mid-band (old) spectrum including AWS (1.7 GHz), PCS (1.9 GHz), and BRS (2.5 GHz)
  • Mid-band (new) spectrum including C-band (3.5 GHz) and CBRS (3.5 GHz)
  • High-band spectrum including 28 GHz and 39 GHz
iPhone 11 – Compatibility
  • Low-band spectrum including 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and 850 MHz frequencies
  • Mid-band (old) spectrum including AWS (1.7 GHz), PCS (1.9 GHz), and BRS (2.5 GHz)
iPhone X (10) – Compatibility
  • Low-band spectrum including 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and 850 MHz frequencies
  • Mid-band (old) spectrum including AWS (1.7 GHz), PCS (1.9 GHz), and BRS (2.5 GHz)
Samsung Galaxy S20 – Compatibility
  • Low-band spectrum including 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and 850 MHz frequencies
  • Mid-band (old) spectrum including AWS (1.7 GHz), PCS (1.9 GHz) and BRS (2.5 GHz)
  • Mid-band (new) spectrum including CBRS (3.5 GHz) but not C-band (3.5 GHz)
  • High-band spectrum is not on the standard model, but is available through the Samsung Galaxy S20 UW
Samsung Galaxy S10 – Compatibility
  • Low-band spectrum including 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and 850 MHz frequencies
  • Mid-band (old) spectrum including AWS (1.7 GHz), PCS (1.9 GHz), and BRS (2.5 GHz)

5G Deployed in Layers, Different Spectrum Bands

Coverage, capacity, and latency provide a helpful framework for distinguishing the different characteristics of low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum. Below, we discuss how each spectrum band provides advantages and disadvantages for users in terms of coverage, capacity, and latency.

5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers (3)

High-Band (known as Capacity Spectrum)

High-band spectrum typically ranges from frequencies of 24 GHz to 40 GHz. Coverage is more limited in high-band, as this “millimeter wave” spectrum has limited propagation. Indeed, high-band signals do not travel much more than 500 to 600 feet away from a small cell node.

Specifically, high-band does not travel very far because the signal gets easily absorbed or scattered by obstacles. For example, even if the user is standing close to the node, where the signal is broadcast from, such as only a couple hundred feet away, there can be some degradation because high-band signals only travel well within direct line-of-sight. Obstacles like trees, walls, buildings and even raindrops in the air can block and disrupt the high frequency signal.

Capacity in high-band, allows for network speeds that are 10x faster than low-band 5G networks. Indeed, high-band is capable of transmitting significant amounts of information (i.e., bandwidth). Therefore, high-band is used for extreme bandwidth needs in dense urban areas.

Latency for high-band is ultra-low, allowing for 5G’s promise of 5 milliseconds over-the-air latency. Indeed, latency in high-band is much lower than to mid- and low-band frequencies.

Mid-Band (known as Backbone Spectrum)

Mid-band spectrum typically ranges from 1 GHz to 6 GHz, and includes frequencies such as 3.5 GHz, a global standard. Importantly, mid-band is a mixture of coverage and capacity for 5G services. Specifically, this means that mid-band has fast speeds and good transmission distances. Indeed, mid-band works well in cities, but is not as effective for rural coverage.

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Mid-band is important for providing wider bandwidth which supports 5G’s initial use cases of Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services and the Internet of Things (IoT). Latency of mid-band is lower, compared to low-band spectrum, but higher, compared to high-band spectrum.

Low-Band (known as Coverage Spectrum)

Low-band spectrum typically is less than 1 GHz, and includes frequencies such as 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and 850 MHz. Importantly, low-band signals are the foundation of the 5G network. Coverage in low-band is wide, as signals can penetrate obstacles such as walls, in the way that light goes through glass. Indeed, low-band provides better 5G coverage in buildings.

Capacity in low-band 5G allows for higher speeds than 4G / LTE. However, it provides only moderate capacity relative to mid- and high-band frequencies. Indeed, low-band capacity helps to support massive scale Internet of Things services, which are not as bandwidth-intensive.

Latency in low-band is higher compared to both mid- and high-band frequencies.

Spectrum Holdings by Carrier

The four largest holders of spectrum in the United States include Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and DISH Network. Indeed, DISH Network owns Boost Mobile and is building a new facilities-based 5G network. Furthermore, companies including U.S. Cellular, Comcast, SiriusXM, Charter, and Cox also own spectrum, but their holdings are much smaller than these four large carriers. Therefore, below we focus on a high-level overview of the low-, mid-, and high-band holdings of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and DISH Network.

If you want more detail of each carrier’s precise spectrum holdings by individual band then please checkout our product “United States Carriers – Spectrum Holdings“. In this document, it provides you with the raw spectrum data. For example, that T-Mobile owns a 31 MHz block of spectrum in the 600 MHz band.

Below, we focus on this high-level overview of the low-, mid-, and high-band holdings of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and DISH Network. Note that spectrum holdings represent the weighted average holdings in MHz for each carrier.

5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers (4)

Verizon – Spectrum Holdings

#3 out of 4 in low-band, #4 out of 4 in mid-band, and #1 out of 4 in high-band.

(Video) 3G, 4G & 5G and the Electromagnetic Spectrum Management | Mobile Network Footnotes

  • Low-band: Verizon holds 47 MHz of spectrum depth
  • Mid-band: Verizon holds 84 MHz of spectrum depth
  • High-band: Verizon holds 2,000+ MHz of spectrum depth

AT&T – Spectrum Holdings

#1 out of 4 in low-band, #2 out of 4 in mid-band, and #3 out of 4 in high-band.

  • Low-band: AT&T holds 55 MHz of spectrum depth
  • Mid-band: AT&T holds 93 MHz of spectrum depth
  • High-band: AT&T holds ~1,200 MHz of spectrum depth

T-Mobile – Spectrum Holdings

#2 out of 4 in low-band, #1 out of 4 in mid-band, and #2 out of 4 in high-band.

  • Low-band: T-Mobile holds 55 MHz of spectrum depth
  • Mid-band: T-Mobile holds 256 MHz of spectrum depth
  • High-band: T-Mobile holds 1,500+ MHz of spectrum depth

DISH Network – Spectrum Holdings

#4 out of 4 in low-band, #3 out of 4 in mid-band, and #4 out of 4 in high-band.

  • Low-band: DISH Network holds 24 MHz of spectrum depth
  • Mid-band: DISH Network holds 91 MHz of spectrum depth
  • High-band: DISH Network holds over 1,100 MHz of spectrum depth

Key Takeaways from the Spectrum Holdings of U.S. Carriers

5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers (5)

Verizon – Takeaways

Verizon has the strongest position in high-band spectrum. However, high-band spectrum is not widely used currently, as it is a nascent technology that will develop further over the next 5 to 10 years.

In contrast, Verizon has the weakest spectrum holdings of the combined low- and mid-band spectrum, which is collectively known as sub-6 GHz spectrum, as compared to AT&T and T-Mobile. However, Verizon will be buying significantly more mid-band spectrum, specifically C-band spectrum, in the C-band auction, which is taking place in December 2020.

AT&T – Takeaways

AT&T has the weakest spectrum holdings overall, as compared to Verizon and T-Mobile. Additionally, AT&T will have less mid-band spectrum than Verizon following the C-band spectrum auction. Furthermore, AT&T currently has the lowest amount of high-band spectrum holdings, as compared to Verizon and T-Mobile.

In addition to AT&T’s weakness in spectrum holdings, the carrier also has issues from a corporate perspective. Indeed, AT&T as a company has a significant amount of debt and other declining business lines such as video services through DIRECTV. In turn, this financial position makes it difficult for AT&T to buy more spectrum licenses.

T-Mobile – Takeaways

T-Mobile has the strongest spectrum holdings overall, as compared to Verizon and AT&T. Specifically, T-Mobile has the second highest amount of low-band spectrum and is far-and-away the leader in mid-band spectrum with 256 MHz of spectrum depth. Indeed T-Mobile’s mid-band spectrum holdings are ~3x the holdings of both Verizon and AT&T. Furthermore, T-Mobile also has the second highest amount of high-band spectrum.

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Overall, T-Mobile has a well-rounded spectrum portfolio, fitting the “layer cake” approach to building a ubiquitous 5G network.

DISH Network – Takeaways

At face value, DISH may appear to have low spectrum holdings compared to Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. However, the company is in a strong position relative to its 5G network build. Firstly, DISH owns Boost Mobile, which has a subscriber base of only ~9 million. Therefore, DISH has a subscriber base which is less than 10% of the subscribers of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Specifically, Verizon has ~120 million subscribers, AT&T has ~94 million subscribers, and T-Mobile has ~100 million subscribers. Therefore, DISH is in a strong position on a spectrum per subscriber basis.

Secondly, DISH intends to build a “real” 5G network, which will comprise 50k tower sites. DISH estimates that it will cost $10 billion to build-out its greenfield 5G wireless network.

Thirdly, DISH has a 7-year mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement, on T-Mobile’s network. Indeed, this allows DISH’s wireless customers to roam on the T-Mobile network for the next 7 years, before DISH even has to start using its large spectrum holdings.

Geniuses Of 5G

If you are serious about wanting to get detailed background about the 5G plans of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and DISH Network, then we recommend checking out our eBook titled the “Geniuses Of 5G”. This eBook gives readers access to the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the 5G industry. Specifically, by unlocking the most valuable stories, secrets, and case studies directly from 10 of the most successful 5G corporate executives and industry leaders. These insights are taken from the current and former Chief Executive Officers of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and DISH Network.

Spectrum and Digital Infrastructure

Digital Infrastructure is the physical link driving 5G connectivity as Internet traffic, mobile data traffic, and data storage needs increase. The four sectors of digital infrastructure, include Towers, Data Centers, Fiber, and Small Cells & Distributed Antenna Systems. Below are some highlights of how spectrum and the digital infrastructure sectors of towers and small cells co-exist.

5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers (6)

Generally, towers are used to broadcast the frequencies for low-band and mid-band spectrum. In suburban and rural areas, larger antennas are placed higher up on towers to deploy this low- and mid-band spectrum. Typically, the lower the spectrum band, the larger the antennas will be on the tower.

(Video) How Cell Service Actually Works

When antennas are brought from a high-point to a low-point, it reduces the size of the coverage area, which explains the relevance of small cells. Indeed, small cells are used to broadcast the frequencies for high-band spectrum in dense urban areas.

Smaller antennas are placed at lower heights and are used to deploy millimeter wave spectrum through these small cells. Specifically, these small cells are deployed on city infrastructure such as streetlights, utility poles and the sides of buildings.

5G Spectrum Explained: Phones and Carriers (7)


Which carrier has the most 5G spectrum? ›

Verizon's mid-band 5G roll-out is the biggest upgrade to the carrier network in years and it makes a real difference and delivering much faster speeds to people who are covered. Historically, Verizon started building out its 5G network by focusing exclusively on the mmWave technology, using the 28GHz and 39GHz bands.

What is the network spectrum of 5G? ›

Mid-band spectrum (1 GHz - 6 GHz) is considered perfect for 5G because it can carry plenty of data while traveling significant distances. The GSMA describes spectrum in the 3.3 GHz to 3.8 GHz range as ideal because many countries worldwide have already designated it for 5G.

What 5G spectrum does Verizon use? ›

The millimeter frequencies in the high band of the radio spectrum are available for the first time with 5G. As part of the extremely high frequency (EHF) band, it has a frequency range between 24 GHz and 53 GHz. Verizon's millimeter wavelength (mmWave)-based 5G operates at frequencies of about 28 GHz and 39 GHz.

Which Mobile carrier has the most spectrum? ›

Great network coverage

That's good news for Spectrum Mobile customers. Verizon's network has the strongest network in the country, offering 4G LTE coverage even in rural pockets of the country.

Is 5G the same for all carriers? ›

All three major networks—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all provide 5G coverage, but are still working on their 5G deployment. As it stands so far in 2021, here's the wireless 5G service breakdown: T-Mobile has the most 5G, with 53.79% of the country covered.

Is T-Mobile 5G better than Verizon? ›

T-Mobile is better than Verizon for 5G coverage area, high-speed premium, data, and mobile hotspot allowances. However, Verizon's 4G LTE coverage, prices, and perks are slightly better.

Is spectrum 5G really 5G? ›

Spectrum's nationwide 5G service allows users to access 5G speeds across the country. 5G Ultra offers even faster speeds but can only reach devices within a short radius of the 5G tower. Currently, 5G Ultra is only accessible in certain areas of select cities.

Do you need a 5G phone to use spectrum mobile? ›

Will my current phone work on 5G and 5G C-Band? In order to get the coverage and benefits of 5G, you'll need a 5G device. If you purchase a 5G device, it will still work on 4G. Spectrum currently offers several 5G-capable devices for you to choose from.

Why is spectrum better than Verizon? ›

Choosing between Verizon and Spectrum mostly comes down to fiber versus cable. Spectrum's cable internet is the clear choice if you want speeds faster than DSL internet and there is no fiber internet in your area. However, we suggest going with fiber from Verizon Fios if you can.

Which carrier has best signal? ›

The group of four major cell phone providers in the U.S. is known as the Big Four, and it includes Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. Without question, Verizon's 4G LTE network has the best coverage, with 70% nationwide coverage, followed by AT&T with 68%, T-Mobile with 62%, and Sprint with 30%.

Is spectrum cell service better than T-Mobile? ›

T-Mobile is generally better than Spectrum Mobile. Spectrum Mobile is available only for Spectrum internet customers and uses Verizon's mobile network. T-Mobile offers larger data caps and more benefits for cell phone customers.

Who has the fastest 5G network in the US? ›

T-Mobile has the fastest 5G experience in the U.S.

T-Mobile wins both the 5G Download Speed and 5G Upload Speed awards outright for the seventh consecutive time. Our T-Mobile users enjoy average 5G download speeds clocking in at 186.3Mbps — more than 100Mbps faster than the speeds Verizon's users experience.

Why is Verizon 5G coverage so small? ›

Speeds have the potential to reach 20 Gbps, and latency can be as low as one millisecond. However, mmWave signals are easily disrupted and can't travel far distances. Thus, Verizon's High-Band 5G is only available in densely populated areas.

How do I know if I have 5G spectrum? ›

Check out Spectrum Mobile's cellular map and enter your zip code to see if Spectrum Mobile has you covered. Second, you'll need a 5G-capable phone. Don't worry, 5G phones are compatible with 4G and 4G LTE networks too, so it will work in all three types of networks.

Do I need a new phone for 5G? ›

5G networks will work with 4G — not outright replace it. The upshot is that 5G-capable cell phones will still use 4G technology.

What are the 3 types of 5G? ›

In fact, there are three types of 5G spectrum bands: low-band, mid-band, and high-band. Each band is made up of a contiguous group of radio frequencies whose speed (performance) and reach (propagation) vary from one band to the next.

Can I use 5G if my phone is not 5G? ›

They already support 5G technology. But, keeping that aside, there are a few requirements to be fulfilled for using 5G on your smartphone. One such requirement is a 5G compatible and ready phone. In many cases, your phone might support 5G but still doesn't have the 5G update in place.

Who is the #1 cell phone carrier? ›

With an extensive national network, Verizon is the leading wireless provider. It receives top scores for network coverage, speed, and reliability. Verizon's plan and device flexibility, combined with excellent business features, makes it the clear winner in our best overall cell phone provider category.

Which 5G network is best? ›

T-Mobile is the leader in 5G, delivering the country's largest, fastest and most awarded 5G network. The Un-carrier's 5G network covers 325 million people across 1.9 million square miles – more than AT&T and Verizon combined.

Do 5G phones have better reception? ›

Does a 5G Phone Get Better Reception? 5G uses new technologies and frequencies making it much more efficient than 4G. It offers faster speeds, lower latency, and insane capacity. Thus, in areas where 5G is available, 5G phones can experience better connectivity than 4G phones.

Should I use 5G or LTE? ›

If you're looking for fast speeds with the most population coverage, LTE is the way to go. However, if you're looking for the latest and greatest technology with the potential for faster speeds and more capacity, 5G is the way to go.

What is the criticism of 5G technology? ›

4G cellular networks often get congested which will result in various problems while accessing important data. On the other hand, 5G networks allow users to avoid them due to better speed and more bandwidth. The main disadvantage of 5G is that it has limited global coverage and is available only in specific locations.

What is 6G mobile technology? ›

6G (sixth-generation wireless) is the successor to 5G cellular technology. 6G networks will be able to use higher frequencies than 5G networks and provide substantially higher capacity and much lower latency. One of the goals of the 6G internet is to support one microsecond latency communications.

Why am I not getting 5G on my spectrum mobile phone? ›

If you have a 5G-capable device, but aren't getting 5G coverage: You may not be in a 5G coverage area. Your area may be experiencing network congestion at this time.

What happened to Spectrum 5G? ›

With support from the Trump White House, the FCC auctioned off the rights to operate 5G networks in a wide swath of underutilized spectrum in what is known as the C-band (3.7-3.98 gigahertz, or GHz).

Will 5G require new wireless spectrum? ›

The number of 5G mobile connections will rise by some 50% next year, hitting 1.5 billion by the end of 2023. This growth will require additional spectrum resources in all frequency bands. In 2022, mid-band spectrum (1–7 GHz) accounted for over 60% of total frequencies assigned.

Can I keep my phone if I switch to Spectrum mobile? ›

Many carriers allow you to bring your own phone. At Spectrum Mobile, all mobile plans allow you to bring your own phone. Our best deal in mobile is our Unlimited data plan for just $29.99/mo per line.

Can I use my old phone with Spectrum mobile? ›

Spectrum Mobile supports select devices from other carriers. We currently support Apple, Samsung and Google phones. (LG phones previously purchased from Spectrum Mobile are also supported.)

What happens to Spectrum mobile if I cancel Spectrum internet? ›

If you disconnect your other Spectrum services, your WiFi speeds will be reduced, and you won't be able to add new lines of service or upgrade your device. You'll still be able to change your Spectrum Mobile data plan for existing lines on your account.

What is the downside of Spectrum? ›

One downside to Spectrum Mobile is the smaller number of plan options available, but many will find that one of the three different plan options offered provides exactly what they need. Through Spectrum Mobile, customers can choose between purchasing an unlimited data plan or a gig plan.

Why is Spectrum wireless so cheap? ›

major phone providers. In most cases, plans from an MVNO like Spectrum Mobile will be cheaper than those from a major phone provider like AT&T or Verizon. That's because, even though Spectrum Mobile uses Verizon's network, it doesn't have to pay for things like network upkeep and can pass those savings onto you.

Why my bill is so high in Spectrum? ›

Taxes or fees in your area may have changed. Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View purchases, as well as long-distance calls made without a Spectrum Business Voice International Calling Plan, can change your amount due each month.

Who has the best 5G coverage in the United States? ›

5G coverage compared
CarrierNationwide 5G coverageView details
T-Mobile53.79%View Plans
AT&T29.52%View Plans
Verizon12.77%View Plans
U.S. Cellular1.8%View Plans
Apr 19, 2023

Which Mobile has strongest signal? ›

Mobile PhoneTotal Score(out of 100)Antenna Performance(out of 10)
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 128 GB + 4G818
Samsung Galaxy S22+ (Android) 128 GB918
Xiaomi 12 (Android 2022) 256 GB868
OnePlus 10 Pro 5G (2022) 256 GB907
11 more rows

What is the strongest cellular signal? ›

Cellular signal strength ranges from -50 dBm (great signal or full bars) to -120 dBm (very poor signal or a dead zone). Being a logarithmic unit, signal strength doubles every three decibels. In other words, a cell signal strength measurement of -97 dBm is twice as powerful as -100 dBm.

What are the perks of Spectrum Mobile? ›

Spectrum Mobile Plan & Package Options
  • By the Gig. With Spectrum Mobile's By the Gig data option, you'll share cellular data across all of your By the Gig lines. ...
  • Unlimited. ...
  • Unlimited Plus. ...
  • Smartwatch Access. ...
  • International Long Distance Calls & Texts. ...
  • Video Streaming. ...
  • Mobile Hotspot. ...
  • Helpful Information.

How fast is Spectrum 5G? ›

You Can Count on Spectrum All Day and Night

Even at peak times – when “5G” Home Internet slows down – Spectrum delivers lightning-fast speeds up to 1 Gbps, smooth streaming and ultra-low lag.

Is 5G faster than Spectrum? ›

Which provider has faster speeds — Spectrum or T-Mobile 5G Home Internet? Spectrum's plans have download speeds that can reach 1 Gbps (wireless speeds may vary) on a cable connection, which is faster than T-Mobile 5G Home Internet's download speed range of 33-182 Mbps.

Which US carrier has the fastest 5G? ›

T-Mobile has the fastest 5G experience in the U.S.

T-Mobile wins both the 5G Download Speed and 5G Upload Speed awards outright for the seventh consecutive time. Our T-Mobile users enjoy average 5G download speeds clocking in at 186.3Mbps — more than 100Mbps faster than the speeds Verizon's users experience.

What is the highest 5G frequency? ›

Frequencies are much higher here. High-Band 5G ranges from 24 to 39 GHz. This is where you'll experience those blazing fast speeds and ultra-low latency 5G promises.

How much 5G spectrum does att have? ›

Together with 40 MHz of the first available batch of C-band spectrum (known as A-block), AT&T will have 80 MHz of mid-band for 5G. Verizon is initially activating 60 MHz of C-band in 46 markets before its full 180 MHz becomes available and sat out of the 3.45 GHz auction.

How do I find the strongest 5G signal? ›

How can I get the best 5G signal?
  1. Check for network coverage. Before you buy a new phone, check the coverage map of your network provider in the area you will be using the device. ...
  2. Position your device near a window. ...
  3. Keep your device updated. ...
  4. Remove any obstructions. ...
  5. Check the frequency band. ...
  6. Contact your network provider.
Mar 9, 2023

Who has the most reliable 5G network? ›

AT&T offers the most balanced network with a reliable 4G LTE coverage and an ever-growing 5G footprint. T-Mobile takes the cake for 5G with unparalleled cellular coverage and good speeds.

Is T-Mobile 5G faster than AT&T? ›

T-Mobile 5G is getting even faster

While the 186.3Mbps speeds measured by Opensignal weren't quite as impressive as the 216.56Mbps that Ookla reported, the averages were consistent across all three carriers, meaning the spread was about the same. Verizon came in at 84.9Mbps, and AT&T clocked in at 71.1Mbps.

What is America's most reliable 5G wireless network? ›

A national advertising watchdog group advised T-Mobile to stop advertising that its wireless service has the most reliable 5G network based on tests by umlaut, a third-party testing company.

What frequency band does T-Mobile use for 5G? ›

T-Mobile, for example, uses 600 MHz, 2.5 GHz and 39 GHz for 5G, and when the second tranche of C-band becomes available in 2023, it will have an average 40 MHz of C-band at its disposal.

What frequency does T-Mobile 5G use? ›

Frequencies that can provide UC 5G: Band n41 (2.5 GHz) Band n258 (24 GHz) Band n260 (39 GHz)

Do you have to pay extra for 5G spectrum? ›

5G is included in all data plans, with no extra fee. Start your experience by choosing a 5G phone, then your data plan.

Is 5G better than LTE? ›

One of the most significant advantages of 5G over LTE is that it offers much lower latency and faster download speeds. 5G networks can achieve these speeds because they operate at higher frequency bands than LTE networks. The higher the frequency waves, the more data can be transmitted in a given amount of time.

How good is AT&T 5G? ›

Our nationwide 5G is fast, reliable, and secure, providing broad coverage reaching over 285 million people nationwide. And it's earned the title of America's most reliable 5G network1. Based on nationwide GWS drive test data. GWS conducts paid drive tests for AT&T and uses the data in its analysis.

Why is my 5G signal so bad? ›

Cause: Generally, the lower the frequency the farther a wireless signal can travel. Therefore, devices on a 5 GHz network will tend to have a shorter range than those using 2.4 GHz.

How can you tell a 5G tower? ›

The only way we know how to determine whether a tower has 5G enabled is to use measuring equipment or a phone that works on that carrier's network and see if the site provides 5G service. By the end of 2023, it will be safe to assume that most cell towers are 5G enabled.

Can I boost my 5G signal at home? ›

With a 5G signal booster, you will no longer have issues with buildings, trees, or other obstructions blocking your cellular signal. The 5G signal booster will boost the outside signal into your home or vehicle so you can benefit from faster data speeds, reliable signal, and better voice quality.


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