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T-Mobile vs Verizon vs AT&T: so many new 5G and overall network experience tests, one big winner

Yes, ladies and gents, it's that time of the month again. The time to shower T-Mobile with praise for its nation-leading advancements in the 5G field based on yet another set of in-depth measurements and network experience tests largely showing the same things as all the previous reports conducted by various reputable firms.

Regardless of the name of the mobile analytics company, the methodology used to compare the top three US wireless service providers, and the scope and duration of the research, T-Mo comes out on top pretty much always of late across almost all key performance indicators.

Despite the lack of suspense, these reports still include plenty of interesting information and unique insight into the industry's evolution as a whole and the specific progress of each individual carrier, so without further ado, let's see exactly what Opensignal offers from that standpoint today.

You get a speed upgrade, you get a speed upgrade, everybody gets a speed upgrade

Statistically speaking at least, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T customers should have noticed substantial improvements in both their 5G download speeds and overall download speeds in the last few months.

We're talking, for instance, about a jump from an already impressive 5G average of 150 Mbps at the end of a September to December 2021 testing period to no less than 171 Mbps right now for T-Mobile, which has incredibly managed to extend its lead in this key category over both of its arch-rivals despite Verizon and AT&T's own decent improvements from 56.2 and 49.1 to 72.8 and 53.6 Mbps respectively.

While Magenta's mid-band 5G deployments and rapid expansions have long been documented and highlighted as the origin of its towering download scores, the slowly progressing figures of the silver and bronze medalists are a direct cause of their belated but very welcome C-band rollouts.

Although C-band technology is expected to narrow the gap (a little) in the relatively near future, T-Mobile's 5G speed supremacy is almost certainly in no immediate jeopardy, spilling into the overall download speed experience as well.

When you add 4G LTE (and what's left of 3G) in the equation, the differences between the three carriers are obviously a bit smaller, and surprisingly or not, AT&T beats Verizon for second place. But T-Mo's gold medal position looks very comfortable here as well, as is the case in the upload speed sections of both the 5G-specific and the general mobile network experience reports, and perhaps more importantly...

The 5G coverage battle is not particularly close either

Where mid-band is not available, low-band 5G enters the picture, helping T-Mobile absolutely destroy the competition in both key measures of the cellular standard's extent. Although not quite ubiquitous yet, the "Un-carrier's" 5G network keeps its users connected more than 40 percent of the time spent on their phones, compared to less than 20 percent for AT&T and a pretty terrible 10.6 percent 5G availability score as far as Verizon is concerned.

Both the gaps and the ranking of the three US wireless top dogs are extremely similar in the 5G reach section of Opensignal's July 2022 report, with Big Red left having to settle for 5G games and 5G voice app experience crowns and not a single 5G trophy awarded to Ma Bell.

AT&T can at least claim a (narrow) victory in the overall service availability contest, which combines 3G, 4G, and 5G technologies to provide a... not very relevant picture in this day and age.

There's not a lot of real-world difference between 99.3, 99.1, and 98.5 percent availability numbers, and the same can actually be said about the very evenly matched contest for the "core consistent quality" gold medal. Said gold is ultimately awarded to T-Mobile, which somehow wins the overall games experience and voice app experience trophies as well despite losing those particular battles when dealing strictly with 5G connectivity.

At the end of the day, it's hard to look at these reports either superficially or meticulously and conclude that Verizon and AT&T are playing in the same league as T-Mobile right now.

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