Each of the big three wireless providers won a category in RootMetrics’s 5G report for the first half of 2021, but AT&T was tops in “Best Everyday 5G Experience”– a new category measured by RootMetrics.
The category was added in an attempt to assess real world usage in which network connectivity shifts fluidly between 5G and 4G LTE depending upon network availability. It mixes 5G-only and 5G “mixed-mode” to produce one metric.
Other highlights from the report:
AT&T 5G was tops for speed, edging out Verizon, though the category was close. AT&T had the fastest 5th percentile, median and 95th percentile everyday download speeds in 20 cities, four more than Verizon and seven more than T-Mobile.
T-Mobile was best on availability. It was the only carrier to record 5G results in each of the 125 cities tested. It was highest in 81 cities, with AT&T way behind at 44 cities and Verizon at nine cites. T-Mobile provided 98.6% availability in Wichita, KS, the higher of any carrier during the first half of the year.
Verizon won the 5G reliability category, with the top rate of getting and staying connected in 99 cities, which is almost twice as many winning cities as the other two carriers.
Verizon’s 5G footprint grew significantly since the second half of 2020. Verizon’s Everyday 5G median speed – the mix of 4G LTE and 5G – was more than 50 Mbps in 28 cities, an increase from nine in the second half of last year.
Last April, RootMetrics said that Verizon had increased its mobile broadband speed the most of the then four major wireless carriers. The firm based the claim on a broad comparison of speeds between the first half of 2014 and the second half 2019.