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PCMag’s 2021 Fastest Mobile Networks Report


PCMag recently released this year’s edition of its Fastest Mobile Networks report. T-Mobile won big. The network’s great speeds with mid-band 5G played a significant role.

My reservations about PCMag’s methodology in previous years still hold true this year. Most importantly, PCMag’s focus on speeds is misplaced. To get a good cellular experience, people need consistent coverage and decent speeds. Once a phone user has decent speeds, further speed increases have hugely diminishing returns. Whether you’re browsing Reddit, streaming video, or using a messaging app, 25Mbps speeds will be good enough. Moving from 25Mbps to 250Mbps won’t have a tangible effect on a user’s experience.

So yeah, T-Mobile won. But it doesn’t mean much. Availability and consistency trump average speeds.


On a less critical note, PCMag’s city-by-city results are interesting. And you can see availability metrics even if PCMag doesn’t give those much weight in its final scores.

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