This US 5G Speed Report Could Start Some Arguments

OpenSignal has released its latest report documenting the state of 5G network coverage following the deployment of the C-Band spectrum in the United States, and the findings are quite interesting. For folks who don't keep a tab on telecom developments, C-Band 5G offers a middle ground between Sub-6 GHz (low speed, larger coverage) and mmWave (ultra-fast speed, poor coverage) flavors of 5G. OpenSignal's report compares the network statistics of Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T by choosing the 2.5GHz spectrum as the reference point for data collection. Generally speaking, Verizon recorded the biggest gain following its C-Band rollout, as it offered bigger boost in weekly average download speeds compared to AT&T and T-Mobile. Verizon's large-scale deployment in the mid-band actually bumped up its national download speed score by 26.7 percent, going up from 55.7Mbps to 70.6Mbps.

Talking about C-Band 5G numbers, the competition is tight on the upload side of things, but the gulf widens when it comes to download speeds. T-Mobile took the top spot with an average 5G download speed of 225.5Mbps, Verizon delivered a downlink cellular channel peaking at 211.8Mbps, while AT&T's C-Band could only climb up to 160Mbps. Coming to the upload speeds, Verizon toppled T-Mobile with a 20Mbps uplink rate. Even AT&T managed to race past T-Mobile here by providing an average 5G C-Band upload speed of 18.5Mbps, while T-Mobile lagged behind at the 18.2Mbps mark. 

C-Band Is Making The Field Competitive

T-Mobile had a healthy head start with deployment in the 2.5GHz band, but it is interesting to see how fast Verizon has caught up to it in the C-Band playground. OpenSignal also did some comparisons across five cities (Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Phoenix) and found that Verizon is consistently chasing T-Mobile's C-Band 5G download numbers with a small gap. T-Mobile served average download speeds in the range of 233.9Mbps to 272.7Mbps, while Verizon's C-Band 5G wandered in the ballpark of 207.8Mbps to 231.1Mbps. 

The analytics company mentions in its report that 5G speeds on AT&T and Verizon's mid-band 5G network have already delivered a speed boost of three to four times. As the two carriers expand their C-Band coverage and onboard more user, congestion might take a toll on the download and upload speeds, but the general trend of improvement will retain a positive outlook in the coming years. In terms of overall 5G download speed, T-Mobile still leads the pack by a healthy margin. Even though Verizon and AT&T still have a long way to go before they can aim to take the fastest 5G speed crown from T-Mobile, C-Band deployment will at least help narrow down the gap.