Verizon landed the most individual awards, but T-Mo’s speeds can’t be beat

T-Mobile US garnered the overall best 5G experience in the second half of 2022, per Rootmetrics, but AT&T also had a strong performance at the state level and Verizon did particularly well at the metro level. That’s a bit of a role reversal, considering that T-Mobile US used to have its primary strength at the city-level rather than nationally.

Overall, Rootmetrics said, 5G performance in the United States is “strong in general and should only improve over time as 5G continues to mature and expand.”

Across 125 markets tested, T-Mobile US had the highest 5G availability in 101 of them, and the best 5G download speeds in 68 markets. It was considered the “most reliable” 5G in just 19 markets, with Verizon dominating the reliability category in 95 markets.

But the performance on availability and speed was still enough for T-Mo’s 5G to be considered the best 5G experience overall.

Among the highlights for each carrier:

-Across all network types (including LTE and 5G), T-Mo delivered speeds higher than 50 Mbps in the most cities of any carrier, and it was the only operator to pass the 200 Mbps-mark for median download speeds in any city—and it did it in 59 of them. That’s impressive enough, but in 32 of those markets median download speeds were faster than 300 Mbps. In one metro area, T-Mo even cracked the 400-Mbps mark for median download speed.

-Verizon took home the most individual awards, winning 747 awards out of 875 total in Rootmetrics’ second-half awards, or about 85% of all possible metro-level awards. Rootmetrics said that it observed Verizon using C-Band spectrum in 109 markets in the second half of 2022, up from 81 in the first half of the year. The carrier’s median download speed increased in 86 of those markets.

-AT&T won the most Rootmetrics awards at national and the state levels, taking home 259 out of 350 state level awards and six out of seven on the national level — including a speed award, which while lower than T-Mo’s recorded speeds, took consistency into account. Rootmetrics recorded that AT&T was using C-Band spectrum in 72 markets in the second half, up significantly from just 23 markets in the first half of the year; AT&T’s 5G median download speeds improved in 70 of the markets where it put C-Band to use.

“With both AT&T and Verizon investing heavily on their own mid-band solutions in recent years, T-Mobile could see tighter competition ahead,” Rootmetrics said.