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T-Mobile is the "best" carrier in the United States when factoring in connection speed and reliability, according to PCMag's annual mobile network comparison, the results of which were released today.

pcmag-mobile-carrier-results.jpg

PCMag drove over 10,000 miles through 30 cities to test AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon connection speeds. In the past, this study focused on the fastest connections, but this year, PCMag looked for the best overall network. T-Mobile ended up winning in 18 out of 30 cities, while Verizon won in eight and AT&T won in four.

In terms of pure speed, T-Mobile won in 19 cities, Verizon in nine, and AT&T and two, with Verizon hitting the highest download speeds at 3891Mb/s. T-Mobile had the best average download speed across all tests at 264.4Mb/s, beating out Verizon's average speed of 156.8Mb/s and AT&T's average speed of 79Mb/s. T-Mobile also had average upload speeds that beat out Verizon and AT&T.

T-Mobile has improved its service in rural areas, though it still had more data dead zones outside of the rural Northeast than Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile had the best 5G coverage because of its Sprint acquisition, which came with mid-band spectrum, but AT&T and Verizon may catch up at some point in the future.

PCMag was testing 5G speeds, so the fastest connections will require a 5G smartphone. The testing indicates that on T-Mobile and Verizon, there is a growing gulf between 4G speeds and 5G speeds. Verizon and T-Mobile have "dramatically increased nationwide speeds" thanks to the expansion of mid-band 5G networks, but AT&T's speed has dropped.

All tests were done with the Samsung Galaxy S22+, a device that had the "best network performance" in PCMag's test. Scores were weighted with speed accounting for 60 percent of the score and reliability accounting for 40 percent. Call success, data success, download speeds, upload speeds, and latency were all taken into account.

PCMag's full results can be read over at its website for those interested in a deeper breakdown of the scores achieved by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. The site also has detailed information by region and for each city that was visited.

Article Link: T-Mobile Named 'Best' U.S. Mobile Network in 2022 Carrier Showdown
 
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Been using it on iPad Mini 6 since the launch (using it as tablet and phone with buds & voip app) and Tmobile has been strong (bars) wherever I've traveled within the U.S. Generally 5G seems available at all the places I go and 5G UW pops up often. The pricing deal on the "6" at only $10 for 5GB over 5 months is possibly the best bargain for cell service available (a whopping $25 per year for continuous service) and eSIM works just fine.

I come from 4-5 years of using iPad 2 Mini the same way on AT&T $30 for 2GB over 3 months and don't feel any sense of less service reach... at least in the places I travel... including pretty rural areas in East Tennessee. Throughout Florida, Tmobile has been very good.
 
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jntdroid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
686
953
T-Mobile has definitely improved, but I can still drive through my region (south central U.S.) and have multiple completely dead spots. That simply doesn't happen on Verizon or even AT&T, who almost always hold on to the lowest level of service (rather than none at all), even off the beaten path.

Yes, T-Mobile is likely faster in general, but I still prefer to have the most comprehensive coverage. I try them once every couple of years and keep coming to the same conclusion (as recently as 4 months ago with a 5G phone). I'm glad they're improving for competition's sake, though.
 

Mr. Dee

macrumors 68040
Dec 4, 2003
3,914
6,546
Jamaica
I remember just three years ago the dead zone I got going to a local play. But it certainly has improved here in its home city. I get full bars down in the tunnel when riding light rail. I still can’t justify the added cost of 5G though. Even with Apple pushing it like it did at the iPhone 12 launch, it’s obvious the opportunities 5G was supposed to bring had faded. Besides, my 3 GBs of data plus free wifi at work and home is more than enough.
 

lazyrighteye

macrumors 68030
Jan 16, 2002
2,852
2,566
Denver, CO
Been using it on iPad Mini 6 since the launch (using it as tablet and phone with buds & voip app) and Tmobile has been strong (bars) wherever I've traveled within the U.S. Generally 5G seems available at all the places I go and 5G UW pops up often. The pricing deal on the "6" at only $10 for 5GB over 5 months is possibly the best bargain for cell service available (a whopping $25 per year for continuous service) and eSIM works just fine.

I come from 4-5 years of using iPad 2 Mini the same way on AT&T $30 for 2GB over 3 months and don't feel any sense of less service reach... at least in the places I travel... including pretty rural areas in East Tennessee. Throughout Florida, Tmobile has been very good.

That's pretty cool. I have long-wondered about an iPad mini-as-phone concept. Cool to hear your success story.
What voip app do you use/recommend?
 

tsa1

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2008
230
157
I live in southern CA and Verizon sucks inside my LA fitness. It’s untouchable on Ultra Wideband, though. I’ve had all 3 over the years and I never liked any of them all that much to stay loyal.
 

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2011
2,492
3,700
Anybody have T-Mobile in Central New Jersey? Moving there for work and currently with TMo but have been thinking about switching to Verizon.
 
That's pretty cool. I have long-wondered about an iPad mini-as-phone concept. Cool to hear your success story.
What voip app do you use/recommend?

All the ones I've tried work well but currently using Google Voice. It also covers texting to/from the number too (Messages app works normally for texting with Apple people) and GV with obihai makes the same number work with all of the home phones, alarm system, fax machine, etc.

I've also used Comcast Voice (app) in the past and it worked great (voice & text), but Comcast just can't resist raising service rates for Voice. Talkatone is also excellent for those with a strong allergy to GV and/or worried that GV is listening to every word with evil intentions. There's many more in the app store but those have been the ones I've used.
 
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7thson

macrumors demi-god
May 13, 2012
1,280
1,173
Six Rivers, CA
All things being equal, sure T-Mobile came out on top. They sure aren’t leading in my neck of the woods. Not for lack of advertising, though. They’ve suckered a few co-workers into believing their “coverage” hype, but the reality is that the best network for any individual is the one that provides the best coverage for the customers usage. Sometimes there is more than one provider that can do this, usually in metro areas, but frequently there isn’t in rural communities. Do your research.
 
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decypher44

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2007
1,412
2,158
Orange County, CA
I live in southern CA and Verizon sucks inside my LA fitness. It’s untouchable on Ultra Wideband, though. I’ve had all 3 over the years and I never liked any of them all that much to stay loyal.
I’ve had a pretty good experience with Verizon over the past few years. I’m mostly in N OC.

I know this isn’t the same as in a gym, but was at an Angel game a few weeks ago and my eyes popped out! 😂
 

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Saturn1217

macrumors 65816
Apr 28, 2008
1,065
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I have to say I am extremely impressed with how T-mobile coverage has improved over the years. I've been on T-mobile for ages (at least a decade) and I used to have plenty of places, including my parents home, where I just could not get service. This is becoming less and less common.

This past weekend we went on a trip to a rural part of Michigan that I thought for sure would have spots of zero coverage. We did drop down to 1 bar of LTE a couple places but plenty of places also had 5G and I never once had to roam or feel like I was going to get stranded without map access because of signal issues.

They have also always had (IMO) one of the more reasonable hotspot policies. Me and my husband each have 10G of hotspot data and it has really come in handy when our main internet goes down.
 

lazyrighteye

macrumors 68030
Jan 16, 2002
2,852
2,566
Denver, CO
All the ones I've tried work good but currently using Google Voice. It also covers texting to from the number too and GV with obihai makes the same number work with all of the home phones, alarm system, fax machine, etc.

I've also used Comcast Voice (app) in the past and it worked great (voice & text), but Comcast just can't resist raising service rates for Voice. Talkatone is also excellent for those with a strong allergy to GV and/or worried that GV is listening to every word with evil intentions. There's many more in the app store but those have been the ones I've used.
Thanks for sharing.
 

macsound1

macrumors 6502a
May 17, 2007
570
598
SF Bay Area
It’s too bad T-Mobile has bad coverage in much of the San Francisco Bay Area. If they had better coverage, I would happily switch to them.
Where in the SF Bay? I've had T-Mobile and Sprint before that. Has been waaaaay better than AT&T in general in all over the Bay.
I live in the east bay and drive all over CA, nothing but compliments.
I used to work in SF and the 5G is so fast, plus TMobile got towers that could get through the brick office buildings.
Also love my grandfathered Sprint plan. Includes unlimited phone date and 60GB of tethering per month.
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 68020
May 14, 2014
2,372
3,104
nyc upper east
maybe so but their customer support straight up sucksss. lost 3 iphones i traded in, messed up which data package i wanted, messed up again when i called them to change it, ended up adding 2 extra lines, inaccurate promo information, I had to threaten them that i'll take it to small claim court in order for them to settle my account before hopping back to verizon.
 
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notabadname

macrumors 65832
Jan 4, 2010
1,500
592
Detroit Suburbs
I was dual-sim on my iPhone for 3 years between AT&T and Verizon (until 4 months ago), and definitely found Verizon to be better in all my travels as a pilot. Neither bad, to be fair. But Verizon was generally faster for data in most cities. (Neither seemed to have call issues). I still have separate AT&T and Verizon iPads (2 iPad pros) - one personal and one work, and I find I also prefer streaming on my Verizon (both are unlimited plans). I have never had T-Mobile to compare, but I strongly agree with the ranking of number 2 and 3 in the comparison.
 
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