Research by network metrics company Opensignal suggested Verizon and AT&T now have the required mid-band spectrum to close the gap on T-Mobile US for fastest 5G download speeds in the nation after deploying C-Band earlier this year.
In a report released yesterday (29 March), Opensignal placed T-Mobile download data rates at 225.5Mb/s Verizon’s C-Band at 211.8Mb/s and AT&T 160Mb/s.
For uplink C-Band or mid-band rates, results from Opensignal’s users showed AT&T and Verizon neck and neck at 18.5Mb/s and 18.2Mb/s, respectively with T-Mobile at 20.7Mb/s
Verizon’s C-Band spectrum activation has also changed the overall 5G download speeds beyond mid-band.
The operator’s rates increased from 55.7Mb/s to 70.6Mb/s after it deployed C-Band, but T-Mobile still has a commanding lead with an average 5G data rate more than double that of Verizon’s.
By contrast, AT&T’s initial C-Band launch is yet to have a widespread impact on its 5G users’ national experience, Opensignal’s data showed.
There are a few caveats to Opensignal’s research: AT&T initially deployed C-Band in just eight markets, while Verizon announced in January it planned to deploy across 1,700 markets.
Earlier this month, Verizon stated it planned to deploy its C-Band and mmWave-powered 5G ultra-wideband service in 30 more cities this year. It plans to cover at least 175 million people with the service by end-2022.
Verizon strengthened its hand through agreements with satellite providers for early clearance of C-band spectrum to enable the expanded availability.
AT&T’s 5G speeds will likely improve as expands mid-band deployments over the rest of this year using C-Band and 3.45GHz to 3.55GHz spectrum it bought during a Federal Communication Commission auction in January.
While AT&T and Verizon’s C-Band spectrum is largely in the frequency range of 3.7GHz to 3.8GHz, Opensignal used T-Mobile’s 2.5GHz band for the comparison because the operator is employing it along similar lines.
The research company also noted T-Mobile had a head start because it deployed 5G on the frequency two years ago.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back