According to RootMetrics, AT&T will have the fastest 5G network in the first half of 2021


Galaxy S20 + 5G network with SIM cardsSource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

RootMetrics is an independent mobile analytics company reporting real-world network experiences. In its 5G report for the first half of 2021, RootMetrics found that AT&T had the fastest 5G download speeds, even though only 5G was available in 44 of the 45 markets tested. This is because AT&T delivers median speeds of more than 50 Mbps in more markets than any other carrier at 31 (up from seven in 2020). AT&T was able to eliminate test results below 25Mbps and even more in the 25-50Mbps category to achieve these results.

AT&T wasn’t the only one to improve its speed, with both T-Mobile and Verizon improving in that category as well. T-Mobile was also the only wireless operator with an average speed result of over 100Mbps in these markets. Most of T-Mobile’s results were in the 25-50Mbps range. Verizon also got most of its results at 25-50Mbps. All of these carriers had improvements, but Verizon was the most dramatic increase in just one market the second half of 2020 to 43 thanks to the launch of its nationwide sub-6-5G network.

T-Mobile delves a little further into the speed results and in the worst case shows the worst speeds, namely the results of the 5th percentile. This means that the lowest 5% of the results on T-Mobile with 22 markets below 5 Mbps were the worst. However, T-Mobile had the strongest best-case results in the 95th percentile and even had 27 markets with more than 200 Mbps.Compare that with AT&T and Verizon on only four.

Although T-Mobile is not ahead in terms of speed, it still offers the best 5G availability. T-Mobile had more than 55% in 30 markets, more than any other provider. This is not surprising given the rapid expansion of T-Mobile’s 5G coverage. AT&T led Verizon with only three with 20 markets. T-Mobile’s worst result was in Sarasota, Florida, at 19.2%.

Here, too, Verizon showed the greatest improvement, but is still in third place by a clear margin. Still, it’s great to see Verizon’s network growing so fast. Given that all three carriers have solid 5G coverage in a handful of markets, it’s no surprise that the best mobile phone plans already include 5G as standard.

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