T-Mobile logoSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Independent data released by Opensignal claims T-Mobile offers the fastest average 5G download and upload speeds in the U.S.
  • T-Mobile users had an average 5G download speed of 58.1Mbps between September 16 and December 14, 2020.
  • T-Mobile also won Opensignal's 5G Availability award with a score of 30.1%, up from 22.5% six months back.

T-Mobile's 5G is the fastest among all major carriers in the U.S., according to Opensignal's 5G User Experience Report January 2021. For the first time, T-Mobile has won Opensignal's award for 5G download speed, with average 5G download speeds of 58.1 Mbps.

Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile, said in a statement:

From the word 'go', we've been the leader in 5G coverage, and now we're piling on the speed with Ultra Capacity 5G – first in 5G coverage, now first in 5G speed. Last year we blanketed the country in 5G, and now we're layering on the capacity and speed. We closed out 2020 with over 100 million people covered with our Ultra Capacity 5G and we will extend this deployment nationwide by the end of 2021. THIS is how you build the best 5G network in the country, and we are just getting started.

Open Signal 5g Mobile Experience Awards UsaSource: Opensignal

In addition to having the fastest average 5G download speed, T-Mobile also won Opensignal's 5G Availability award with a score of 30.1%, up 7.6% from six months ago. Opensignal's first 5G Upload Speed award also went to T-Mobile, with average upload speeds of 14.0 Mbps. Verizon took second place with 11.9 Mbps, while AT&T was third with 8.0 Mbps.

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Tests recently conducted by umlaut in Chicago, Houston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. also found T-Mobile to have the fastest average 5G download and upload speeds. The average download speed for T-Mobile's 5G across the four cities was found to be 218 Mbps.

However, it isn't just T-Mobile that is claiming to have the fastest 5G in the U.S. AT&T claims it offers the fastest 5G speeds based on Ookla Speedtest scores. As per data from Ookla, AT&T achieved a "Speed Score" of 50.27 in Q4 2020. T-Mobile had a score of 47.16 during the same period, while Verizon scored 40.49.

As per a report from RootMetrics, which doesn't separate 4G and 5G performance, Verizon offers the fastest speed among the three major carriers in the country. As noted by PCMag, the drive-testing firm is "particular strong in rural drive testing," which has favored Verizon and AT&T over T-Mobile in the past.

Since Verizon's mmWave 5G and T-Mobile's mid-band 5G offer much faster speeds than other forms of 5G, they make a huge difference in speed test results. Thanks to the difference between the various forms of 5G that U.S. carriers are using right now, it is nearly impossible to determine which of them is truly "the fastest."

5G coverage map: Every US city with AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile 5G