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Fastest Mobile Network Q1 2021

SpeedSmart Speed Index

Who has the fastest mobile network in the United States? For Q1 2021 T-Mobile had the fastest 5G network in the United States followed closely by Verizon. AT&T had the fastest 4G LTE network in the United States followed by T-Mobile. Both Verizon and T-Mobile showed impressive 5G network download speed for the country as a whole. Looking at individual cities below many locations show an average download speed of well over 100 Mbps on 5G. When it comes to latency AT&T is the clear winner beating both T-Mobile and Verizon.

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5G Speeds

Top bar download speed, bottom bar upload speed.
Fastest 5G Network
This chart shows the average 5G download & upload speed (Mbps) for each network nationwide. Measured in Mbps, higher is better.
Winner: T-Mobile

4G LTE Speeds

Top bar download speed, bottom bar upload speed.
Fastest LTE Network
This chart shows the average LTE download & upload (Mbps) for each network nationwide. Measured in Mbps, higher is better.
Winner: AT&T

Latency 5G vs 4G LTE

Top bar 5G latency, bottom bar 4G LTE latency.
Lowest Latency
Comparing the avearge latency for all 3 networks 5G vs 4G LTE. Measured in milliseconds, lower is better.
Winner: AT&T

Long Term

This long-term chart shows how each of the 3 major 5G networks in the US perform against each other for download speed over a period of 6 months. The data is nationwide and speeds measured in Mbps.


Top 40 Cities

The table below shows the average download and upload speed for each of the 3 major 5G networks in the United States in 40 cities tracked. Results in bold are the fastest download for the given city.


City
AT&T
Download / Upload Mbps
T-Mobile
Download / Upload Mbps
Verizon
Download / Upload Mbps
Albuquerque, NM
Rio Rancho / South Valley
39.65 / 7.12
67.76 / 21.16
48.49 / 27.43
Atlanta, GA
Roswell / Forest Park
60.10 / 20.97
72.34 / 22.85
68.29 / 20.13
Baltimore, MD
Towson / Dundalk
99.54 / 17.91
193.27 / 15.20
111.06 / 22.46
Birmingham, AL
Hoover / Fultondale
230.83 / 53.59
48.14 / 3.04
57.41 / 18.28
Boston, MA
Dorchester / Medford
85.58 / 32.62
145.48 / 29.64
277.24 / 29.55
Buffalo, NY
Cheektowaga / Hamburg
62.57 / 10.89
35.04 / 10.44
24.39 / 6.29
Charlotte, NC
Matthews / Belmont
141.77 / 17.55
86.99 / 17.32
404.16 / 31.74
Chicago, IL
Wheaton / Evanston
33.31 / 4.61
91.93 / 27.54
52.32 / 28.94
Cincinnati, OH
Florence / Fairfield
41.25 / 9.44
52.04 / 35.99
81.80 / 20.10
Cleveland, OH
Lorain / Mentor
99.02 / 17.08
181.66 / 28.65
39.79 / 13.27
Dallas, TX
Fort Worth / Plano
73.65 / 18.74
121.16 / 25.06
86.45 / 11.83
Denver, CO
Thornton / Centennial
31.17 / 13.72
60.50 / 30.11
62.00 / 27.20
Detroit, MI
Pontiac / Warren
42.31 / 1.86
87.29 / 20.02
137.86 / 31.48
Hartford, CT
Manchester / New Britain
39.93 / 15.68
137.91 / 21.87
54.18 / 31.44
Houston, TX
Pearland / Baytown
26.26 / 4.66
109.83 / 24.37
109.67 / 22.74
Indianapolis, IN
Clermont / Cumberland
46.58 / 11.98
103.04 / 21.28
100.80 / 17.15
Jacksonville, FL
Orange Park / Blount Island
22.87 / 14.20
42.08 / 14.69
28.15 / 12.59
Kansas City
Overland Park / Liberty
112.00 / 8.85
73.64 / 12.57
52.99 / 17.93
Las Vegas, NV
Paradise / Henderson
47.89 / 29.50
84.71 / 17.94
56.81 / 17.32
Little Rock, AR
Sherwood / Pinnacle
68.83 / 22.18
17.34 / 9.01
24.81 / 10.30
Los Angeles, CA
Santa Ana / Pasadena
60.57 / 15.96
159.40 / 32.93
75.80 / 24.17
Miami, FL
Ft. Lauderdale / West Palm Beach
59.99 / 15.88
82.55 / 20.73
41.28 / 14.25
Milwaukee, WI
Franklin / Menomonee Falls
62.17 / 16.31
28.84 / 20.83
25.44 / 15.10
Minneapolis, MN
St. Paul / Minnetonka
68.62 / 11.42
100.15 / 28.76
72.42 / 26.20
New York, NY
Brooklyn / Newark
59.06 / 16.52
112.05 / 28.64
123.34 / 23.88
Oklahoma City, OK
Edmond / Norman
63.73 / 11.45
114.15 / 27.24
38.49 / 12.58
Orlando, FL
Kissimmee / Sanford
46.34 / 21.26
44.68 / 20.07
82.02 / 22.05
Philadelphia, PA
Springfield / Cherry Hill
58.71 / 15.84
59.92 / 30.56
84.52 / 20.59
Phoenix, AZ
Mesa / Glendale
79.15 / 4.66
59.29 / 34.43
52.76 / 20.54
Pittsburgh, PA
Ross Township / Mt Lebanon
65.85 / 15.08
103.53 / 23.99
94.40 / 24.24
Portland, OR
Tigard / Gresham
68.86 / 18.44
126.85 / 20.46
43.46 / 20.94
Sacramento, CA
Elk Grove / Citrus Heights
38.70 / 15.53
56.56 / 26.09
142.16 / 31.84
Salt Lake City, UT
Bountiful / Sandy
21.45 / 5.59
37.98 / 12.61
58.72 / 18.72
San Antonio, TX
Von Ormy / Helotes
17.34 / 10.35
82.04 / 31.69
57.58 / 23.72
San Diego, CA
Chula Vista / El Cajon
43.67 / 29.10
69.49 / 27.26
82.74 / 28.84
San Fransisco, CA
Oakland / Palo Alto
62.84 / 16.70
95.14 / 26.17
77.53 / 27.85
Seattle, WA
Kent / Redmond
59.64 / 13.83
71.44 / 23.38
74.67 / 16.09
St. Louis, MO
Arnold / Alton
0.00 / 12.26
44.46 / 13.43
18.97 / 2.33
Tampa, FL
Clearwater / St. Petersburg
74.75 / 30.41
89.82 / 14.24
122.63 / 33.57
Washington, DC
Alexandria / Bowie
121.82 / 25.50
188.48 / 37.12
112.19 / 23.64
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First iPhone 12 5G Speed Test Results

5G on the iPhone is finally here and that means it's time to see what the most popular smart phone with the latest network tech is capable of. Over the past few months we have seen several 5G speed tests pass through the SpeedSmart app. Now that the 5G iPhone is officially here we can share some of what we have seen so far on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

While there have not been a ton of tests with the new iPhone, yet we do have some results for the 3 carrier networks in the US. Keep in mind these are early tests and a small number of tests in just a few locations across the country. T-Mobile and Verizon had the most activity, AT&T had a small handful of tests, and they seem to be using only Low Band 5G. Every Verizon test is using millimeter wave for crazy fast results. T-Mobile seems to be a mix of low and mid-band 5G. Let's see the test results...

AT&T

T-Mobile

Verizon

The results for Verizon are incredibly fast, but something most people will not see anytime soon due to millimeter wave being so limited in coverage and availability. We personally look forward to seeing results and testing Verizon's nationwide 5G network that was launched today. AT&T and T-Mobile are mixed, while showing nice fast download speeds for AT&T it's not incredibly faster than 4G LTE T-Mobile when with Low Band 5G is the same result. The sweet spot for most will be Mid Band 5G. As you can see T-Mobile with download speeds in excess of 400 Mbps using Mid Band 5G is very impressive, most people should end up with results like this if they are in an area with mid-band 5G deployed, otherwise most will notice very little to no difference when going to 5G.

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iPhone XS 29% Faster 4G LTE Over Previous iPhone X

With the release of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max last month came a new Gigabit modem and antenna design that is capable of delivering significantly faster download and upload speed to your iPhone. Putting the new iPhone right inline with the latest Android hardware networking wise. After a few weeks of gathering results using the SpeedSmart Speed Test App we now have a good idea of how the new iPhone performs in the real world across all 4 carriers in the US. Thanks to 4×4 MIMO and some other additions we are seeing double digit percent increase for everyone living in a location with towers capable of taking advantage of the new hardware vs. older modem iPhone.

Nationwide as you can see from the chart above all 4 major networks in the US are seeing significant gains in average speed. We expect this to only get better in the coming months as the network for all 4 carriers is continued to be upgraded across the country. Right now on average using the iPhone XS users are seeing 29.48% faster download speeds when averaged across all networks.

Targeted Cities

Looking at specific cities across the US the difference is even greater. We have created charts for 3 major locations with more to follow at a later date. Charts for Miami, FL, San Francisco, CA and New York City are below. Looking at these 3 locations the gains in performance across all networks is significant and each operator should be very happy. T–Mobile users in Miami, FL are seeing speed of almost 80 Mbps or almost double what users are getting on a iPhone X during the same time period. In New York City Verizon users are seeing a 33% increase in download speed on average and in San Francisco many AT&T users are seeing an almost 50% increase in download speed.

We fully expect this trend to continue and only get better overtime and in more locations across the county. We will do an update post in a few weeks with more cities.

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IPHONE X WHICH MODEM IS FASTER?

Ever since the iPhone 7 was launched over a year ago I often get asked “Which iPhone is faster, the one with the Intel modem or Qualcomm modem?”

With the launch of the iPhone 8 I was asked this question again and then many more times with the release of the iPhone X a little over 1 week ago. I decided to look into it and find out. With 10 days of speed test taken on the iPhone X I gathered the info needed. Tho an admittedly small number of speed tests have been taken with the iPhone X compared to other iPhone models, this due mostly to limited supply of iPhone X devices. Purely in terms of Download & Upload speed I think I can answer the question.

All data used was from speed tests taken only with the SpeedSmart iOS app on iPhone X devices, with LTE connections in the US between November 3rd and November 12th.

Results

Below is the raw numbers from the chart above with each networks average ping added.

Qualcomm Modem (Network, Download Mbps, Upload Mbps, Ping ms)

  • AT&T — 27.46 Mbps — 9.32 Mbps — 38.50 ms
  • T-Mobile — 26.54 Mbps — 8.01 Mbps — 50.05 ms
  • Sprint — 20.28 Mbps — 4.06 Mbps — 57.76 ms
  • Verizon — 35.18 Mbps — 11.01 Mbps — 53.66 ms

Intel Modem (Network, Download Mbps, Upload Mbps, Ping ms)
  • AT&T — 30.13 Mbps — 9.64 Mbps — 41.84 ms
  • T-Mobile — 33.34 Mbps — 11.73 Mbps — 54.23 ms

So which one is faster?

When it comes to just speed, neither. Neither modem is really faster than the other in the iPhone X and that’s a good thing. While the Qualcomm modem iPhone X on Verizon has the highest avg. Download speed of all 4 networks, the Intel modem T-Mobile iPhone X is not far behind and has a higher avg. Upload speed. Getting an average across both device modems and excluding Sprint because of its slower the network the difference is rather minimal 31.73 Mbps Intel and 29.72 Mbps Qualcomm.

The more interesting point is that the Intel modem iPhone X for both AT&T and T-Mobile performs significantly better. Granted there is a 5:1 test gap between the Intel and Qualcomm iPhone X but a greater than 10% performance gap between for AT&T and 15% for T-Mobile.

We can say that when it comes to just purely speed that there is no reason if your on AT&T or T-Mobile to try to get a Qualcomm modem iPhone X. If anything the Intel modem version might be better for both those networks.

We are going to revisit this in a couple months and see if these numbers change or the trend stays the same as we get more speed tests using both iPhone X models.