An early analysis of 5G network performance in the US from RootMetrics by IHS Markit found plenty of room for improvement, noting 4G data rates bested 5G in some locations.
Research conducted in H2 2019 highlighted disparities in coverage and speeds across 5G networks. A side-by-side comparison of services in Los Angeles, for instance, clocked maximum download rates ranging from 125.7Mb/s on T-Mobile US to 627Mb/s on Verizon.
RootMetrics noted Verizon’s 4G data rates topped the average on T-Mobile’s 5G network in the city and were nearly identical to those offered by AT&T’s 5G service.
However, T-Mobile topped the chart in terms of 5G coverage at nearly 39 per cent of Los Angeles, compared with 36.4 per cent from Sprint, 6.7 per cent for AT&T and less than 1 per cent for Verizon.
Sprint clocked maximum 5G speeds of 201.1Mb/s in the city.
RootMetrics noted the results reflect operators’ use of different spectrum bands for 5G: while the mmWave favoured by Verizon delivers faster speeds, the sub-6GHz spectrum employed by its rivals can travel further to offer broader coverage.
While the initial results were “somewhat of a mixed bag,” RootMetrics predicted data rates and coverage would improve over time, in line with “technology upgrades”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back