Every year, PCMag does a pretty impressive and in-depth test to crown the Best Mobile Network for consumers. This year, testers drove 10,000 miles across the country to get a full picture of the current state of T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T networks. The results show that T-Mobile is continuing to out-perform AT&T and Verizon thanks to its combination of download and upload speeds as well as reliability.
The best mobile network: T-Mobile
The test consisted of driving through 30 cities across the United States as well as six different rural areas. According to PCMag, T-Mobile came out on top in 18 of the 30 cities, compared to Verizon’s eight and AT&T’s four.
Looking specifically at upload and download speeds, AT&T lags behind T-Mobile and Verizon. In fact, AT&T’s “entire advantage is in places where it has greater network reliability” than the other two carriers. This means that AT&T is never the fastest network and only outperforms in cities where it is more reliable than Verizon and T-Mobile.
As such, the tests show that AT&T won just two cities in download and upload performance, compared to 19 cities won by T-Mobile and nine cities won by Verizon. “T-Mobile is also doing better than ever before in rural areas, although it gets docked slightly for still having more rural data dead zones outside the Northeast than the other two carriers do,” the results explain.
In the cities, T-Mobile has by far the least connections under 50Mbps, and it really pulls away from the competition in connections between 300 to 600Mbps, which is the mid-band 5G zone. This shows where T-Mobile probably has sufficient capacity for its new $50-per-month home internet service, too. In rural areas, the effect is less pronounced, but it’s still there.
T-Mobile’s “winning secret,” according to the report, is its reliance on mid-band 5G. AT&T and Verizon are continuing to increase the prevalence of mid-band 5G, but both are still lagging significantly behind T-Mobile. This could mean that over the coming years AT&T and Verizon catch up to T-Mobile, but for now, T-Mobile remains on top.
The full test results from PCMag are well worth a read and include more details on things like performance, availability, and reliability.
I always look forward to these test results from PCMag as they offer some of the most in-depth details on the mobile carriers in the United States. This marks the second year in a row that T-Mobile was crowned as the best mobile carrier in the United States.
This year, I was particularly interested in the results as I personally switched from AT&T to T-Mobile. My testing hasn’t been nearly as thorough as PCMag’s, but the results largely corroborate my own experience. In my 6+ months since switching to T-Mobile, I’ve found speed and reliability to be significantly better than AT&T.
T-Mobile’s pricing is also better than Verizon and AT&T, with the added bonuses of things like Netflix On Us, free Paramount+, and free MLB TV access. Plus, it also recently expanded its offerings with free high-speed worldwide data, free in-flight data with major airlines, and a free year of AAA membership.
What do you think of these test results? Do they corroborate what you’ve seen in the real world? Let us know down in the comments.
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