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T-Mobile now ranked fastest 5G network by Ookla – CNET

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The biggest 5G network and the fastest speeds? Ookla ranks all three major carriers.

Angela Lang/CNET

T-Mobile now has the fastest average 5G download speeds in the US, a report by speed test service Ookla said Thursday. The Ookla study also found that T-Mobile customers with 5G devices spent more time connected to a 5G network than those on rival carriers during the first three months of 2021.

According to the study, T-Mobile clocked in at 82.35Mbps download speeds on its 5G network for the first quarter of the year, followed by AT&T at 76.6Mbps and Verizon with 67.24Mbps.

Ookla’s study of how much time 5G customers spent on their carrier’s 5G network showed T-Mobile subscribers were connected 65% of the time, followed by Verizon customers at 36% and AT&T customers at 31%.

Read more: 5G: Everything you need to know

Similar recent reports by Opensignal and Umlaut also showed T-Mobile having the fastest 5G network, with the most availability.

“T-Mobile delivers the fastest 5G speeds and a 5G signal more often,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement Thursday. “T-Mobile 5G will keep layering on even more capacity and speed to the nation’s largest 5G network.”

AT&T and Verizon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The three major US carriers are using different radio waves for their 5G networks: Verizon uses high-band millimeter-wave 5G spectrum, which can travel only short distances and can be blocked by solid obstacles like buildings and trees. AT&T uses 850MHz spectrum for its low-band 5G network, which has better range but slower speeds.

T-Mobile uses low-band 600MHz spectrum and has also integrated Sprint’s midband 2.5GHz spectrum for its “layer cake” approach to 5G since the carrier’s $26.5 billion merger with Sprint went through a year ago. Midband spectrum is faster than low-band, and travels farther than high-band.

You can check out T-Mobile’s 5G coverage maps hereAT&T’s 5G maps here and Verizon’s 5G coverage map here.

Read more: Best 5G phones for 2021