- RootMetrics has detailed the best 5G in the US for the first half of 2021, and there’s no obvious winner.
- AT&T has the fastest everyday speeds, T-Mobile has the best availability, and Verizon has the most reliable service.
- Quality will still depend on where you live.
If you’re itching to sign up for a carrier that does justice to your 5G phone, it won’t be an easy choice. RootMetrics has shared its 5G “Scorecard” for May 2021, and there’s no one network that can be considered best — it really depends on your priorities.
AT&T had the best everyday 5G download speeds in the study, with the provider leading in 15 out of cities studied. T-Mobile’s low-frequency service gave it the most availability, though, with that faster connection switching on more often in 44 cities. Verizon (disclaimer: this author also writes for Verizon-owned Engadget) topped the reliability charts, though, as it was the most stable in 47 cities.
Related: T-Mobile vs Verizon
As usual, the likelihood of getting that connectivity varied from city to city. You’d find the best AT&T 5G availability from the study in Portland, Oregon, but you’d have to travel to Kansas City, Missouri for the fastest median speed. T-Mobile and Verizon had similar variations.
The results are good news if you were worried that a given carrier was clearly worse than the others. However, it also indicates that no one company has the best 5G in the country at this moment. You’ll be making some kind of sacrifice to get the speediest or most consistent access. Coverage might need to mature further before you can assume your telco will offer strong service in all categories.