Galaxy S10 5G SprintSource: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

All of the major U.S. carriers are hard at work on their 5G strategy. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have launched 5G networks and are aggressively expanding those networks through 2019. 5G service not only provides faster speeds but also reduced response times allowing for new services and cloud computing not previously available. For now, the major difference between LTE and 5G will be speed but as coverage continues to roll out to new areas, more services that rely on instant connectivity should become possible.

Verizon

Verizon is starting small with two cities deploying what it calls 5G Ultra Wideband (UWB). In short, this version of 5G uses large chunks of high frequency bandwidth that produce very high speeds but suffer in other areas such as coverage over distance and building penetration. While coverage is dense enough in cities to be included on the list, Verizon is being conservative and offering much more specific descriptions of tower locations.

At this time, it is easy to be discouraged about such minimal 5G coverage but this deployment is only a start for Verizon — it has 14 cities still listed as "coming soon." Early tests have been positive with us seeing speeds up to 1.4 Gbps. Although these massive speeds are impressive, they probably won't hold up under a full Chicago load, but it's still exciting to see.

We're also seeing more specific expansion to places like NFL stadiums or race tracks. While great as a tech demonstration, this really doesn't offer much to the customer just yet.

5G on Verizon: Everything you need to know

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boise, ID
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • New York, NY
  • Omaha, NE
  • Panama City, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Providence, RI
  • St. Paul, MN
  • Washington DC

Verizon 5G

Ultra Wideband Service

A fast-growing millimeter wave network

High speed downloads and a quickly expanding network make Verizon's 5G implemenation of the most complete in the nation.

Sprint

Sprint is bringing its 2.5Ghz 5G to its Overland Park, KS location as well as the nearby Kansas City. They also provide 5G in seven other cities with more to follow later this year. With a good selection of 5G compatible devices such as a hotspot and several phones, Sprint's 5G network is the closest to being fully useable with good coverage density, similar to LTE, and speeds around 300Mbps in our testing.

While Sprint customers wait to see how a potential merger with T-Mobile might pan out, Sprint has moved ahead with its service upgrades and even shows its 5G coverage alongside 4G on its coverage maps to demonstrate its confidence. Sprint has also announced that is continuing to improve it's 5G footprint with expanded coverage in Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston.

It looks like Sprint might be one of the best options for 5G in the near future as long as the network can handle the load. Sprint is putting its 5G to work already with improvements coming to emergency serivices already. If nothing else, it is better than LTE so I'll take it.

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Dallas Fort Worth, TX
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Kansas City, KS
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Washington, D.C.

Sprint 5G

Mid-band 5G

2.5Ghz means better coverage and stable speeds

More coverage makes Sprint's 5G network a strong option with speeds that are much faster than 4G. This 5G service will cover more people with less towers and few dropped connections.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile is the last of the Big Four to offer a 5G option. T-Mobile has already built a small high-band, or millimeter wave, 5G network in parts of a few cities. The real news for T-Mobile 5G comes with low-band 5G and potentially addinging in Sprint's mid-band 5G. T-Mobile is launching 5G on its low-band 600Mhz spectrum on Decemeber 6, 2019. This network will dramatically increase 5G coverage while simultaneously improving 4G LTE speeds.

If T-Mobile can close the deal with Sprint and combine the two networks, it will be a clear leader in 5G worldwide.

5G on T-Mobile: Everything you need to know

High-band, millimeter wave coverage is available in parts of these cities.

  • Atlanta
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • New York

Nationwide coverage coming at 600Mhz in December 2019.

T-Mobile 600Mhz 5G mapSource: T-Mobile

T-Mobile 5G

Low and high-band

High speed 5G

T-Mobile is building a nationwide 5G network on low-band and high-band spectrum. It isn't charging customers any more to get on it. With T-Mobile, all you need is the phone and coverage to get 5G.

AT&T

AT&T certainly has one of the most impressive lists of cities with available 5G coverage. AT&T has launched its 5G network for business use with a hotspot from Netgear and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. AT&T is using millimeter wave for its current buildout but has announced that they intend to start building out on sub-6 spectrum in 2019 which should help with coverage immensely.

That's not necessarily a bad plan while the network works its way up to strength and phones become more readily available, and AT&T certainly seems poised to offer a strong network. If you are a consumer waiting to see that "5G" pop up on your phone, then you will need to wait a bit longer or see if another carrier provides service today.

If you don't have a business account, you don't have access to 5G. AT&T has added a section to its phone specifications called "5G Evolution Capable." This stat doesn't say anything about whether a phone is 5G capable and only refers to modern 4G LTE as 5Ge service is actually 4G LTE Advanced. Every other carrier calls this LTE, LTE-A, or LTE Plus.

5G on AT&T Wireless: Everything you need to know

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Louisville, KY
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Orlando, FL
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Waco, TX

AT&T 5G

mmWave 5G

5G for Business

Get 5G services on one of the largest millimeter wave 5G networks availble. With the Galaxy S10 5G and NETGEAR Nighthawk hotspot available, you can the most out of your connection.

5G devices are becoming more capable with advancments in 5G modems such as the newer X55 modem from qualcomm that has replaced the X50 as the most capable 5G chip.

5G is one of the more exciting things to happen to wireless networking in years and has the same exciting feeling that the move to 3G had. If you are a wireless enthusiast and want an easy way to see how 5G is shaping up worldwide, Ookla, the company famous for its internet speed test, has a map showing new locations as providers send them in.

Verizon 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G

Fast, smooth, and cutting edge.

Adding 5G to the Note lines makes the Galaxy Note 10+ 5g one of the best phones to get work done on the go. You also get the great S-Pen and great display.

Sprint 5G

OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

Only the best hardware

OnePlus brings one of the best Android experiences to Sprint with 5G support. Add in a notch-free 90hz screen with a great battery for a great phone.

Update, November 2019: This article has been updated to reflect changes to AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon's 5G coverage. T-Mobile low-band information added.

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