The nationwide race to deliver 5G coverage is on, but who’s winning? Although Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are boasting about their respective maps, the race is far from over. Sprint has bowed out due to its merger with T-Mobile, and its network is currently being reworked. Let’s take a look at where 5G is available in the US and how soon it might come to a town near you.
First and foremost, the US is a huge country. As a result, 5G is a long way from being a nationwide option on every carrier. With that in mind, let’s break down the three main coverage maps to find your best bet.
T-Mobile is currently leading in the 5G race, thanks in no small part to the merger with Sprint. As a result, T-Mobile also has the nicest looking coverage map to show off its nationwide network. There are actually two 5G networks at play, however — one that covers nearly 5,000 cities and 200 million Americans, and a millimeter-wave network that’s only available in parts of six major cities. Those lucky cities are as follows:
The reason for the two different coverage maps is that T-Mobile is relying on two separate technologies. It uses Band 71 — its 600MHz spectrum for the nationwide coverage because it’s more effective at penetrating buildings and covering long distances. The mmWave technology as mentioned above can’t reach as far, but it’s a faster option than Band 71.