In 2021, you no longer have to go out of your way to pick up a specific carrier, plan, or phone to get just 5G. Pretty much anywhere you go, you are going to have access to the next generation network. And this is great because you can come back to choose a 5G carrier based on your coverage, plans and overall experience.
Here, we break down all three major carriers offering 5G to show you what pulls you forward in different areas, so you can pick the right one for you.
The best 5G carrier overall: Verizon
Verizon first launched its 5G network and faltered in doing so. It launched an MMWave-only network, which was an obvious mistake. It offered incredible speed, but the coverage was truly horrifying. It took several months to start and roll out the sub-6 5G network offering across the country. But now it has a great combination of the two, and makes it the best 5G carrier today.
Although you won’t find Verizon’s mmWave 5G outside of certain areas of a few dozen cities, its Sub-6 network is truly nationwide and can be used in any relatively populated area. Like other sub-6 networks, speeds are not getting faster than their best 4G regions, but they are doing Faster overall. Where Verizon’s lead increases in overall coverage – its 4G footprint is massive, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a part of the country where you don’t have Verizon coverage. This is a big thing for many of us.
The only downside, as always, is the cost: Verizon has the most expensive plans, no matter how many lines you choose. Plans start at $ 70 per month for one line, or $ 45 per month for three lines – although that plan does not include access to its mmWave network. You do not turn to Verizon for a good price; You choose carriers for their incredible footprint and speed.
Verizon 5G: Everything You Need to Know
Best Price 5G Carrier: T-Mobile
You may be surprised to see that T-Mobile 5G Network is the runner-up here instead of AT&T. The once-unhappy carrier has seriously improved over the years, helped by its merger with Sprint. T-Mobile was the first to launch a nationwide 5G network using sub-6 spectrum, and has done an incredible job of upgrading its existing towers for the 5G network. Almost Matches its 4G footprint. So if you have done T-Mobile on 4G in the past, then you will now have 5G.
T-Mobile’s plans also offer incredible value, as they are less expensive than Verizon and AT&T across the board. Better yet, it provides more for that money. Once you get over its lowest plan, you’ll need full-speed data roaming in Canada and Mexico, free (limited) data roaming everywhere internationally, a substantial hot spot data allowance, a free Netflix promotion, And getting the simplicity of taxes and the fees included in your flat rate bill. T-Mobile’s billing is inexpensive and simple – a good combination.
The downside to T-Mobile is its overall coverage – right where Verizon predominates. Despite being integrated with Sprint’s grip, T-Mobile’s overall nationwide footprint conflict has to stand up to Verizon and AT&T in more rural areas. If you live in dense urban areas, you will never know. But if you go out on the roads of the country, there is a good chance that you will leave the T-Mobile service Well Before other carriers.
T-Mobile 5G: Everything you need to know
The AT&T 5G network lands in a heterogeneous middle ground. This is neither an extension of the massive mmWave 5G network that Verizon does nor the increasingly widespread sub-6 5G network that T-Mobile does. Its plans, too, divide the differences between carriers. So why AT&T?
Okay, it can really come down to where you live. AT&T still has strongholds in many parts of the country, and if you’re in one of those areas, by all means go with AT&T. Its sub-6 network is very strong, and it is much more important how big its mmWave (or 5G +, as AT&T calls) network is – because it is not big at all. AT&T has received a bad rap for the 5G network which is not faster than its 4G network, but Part The explanation is that its 4G network is very strong in many parts of the country. If you are getting good speed, does it really matter? You probably don’t care.
AT & T’s plans are competitive with the price of T-Mobile, especially if you have multiple lines on your plan. Its plans include high speed, good amount of non-throttle data and they can do Provide sufficient hot spot data – just go above the unlimited starter plan. But Plan Xtra is not yet as good as T-Mobile overall, especially when it comes to international data roaming.
AT&T 5G: Everything you need to know
How to choose 5G career and 5G plan
So you’re ready to pick up a carrier, and you care about upgrades from 4G to 5G. Here’s how you can make the right choice.
Understanding 5G Coverage
The difficult thing about choosing a “best” carrier as large as the US is that your experience can vary wildly depending on where you live and travel. There is no way for each person to provide an answer, and that means doing research to see which carrier would be best. you It needs to be used.
We have a comprehensive breakdown of 5G network coverage of each carrier that can get you started. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all also have coverage maps. It is important to look at the maps very closely, though – they can often be misleading where 4G coverage stops and 5G coverage begins. And this is even more important when looking at mmWave coverage, which can be incredibly difficult to map correctly.
Believe it or not, the best thing is still to ask friends and family in your local area about your experiences with various carriers. This can be hard nowadays when you are looking for people’s experience, especially with 5G, which they will not use unless they have a new phone. As you look at coverage maps, you want to make sure that you are specifying that you want to know about the 5G experience.
But it’s not all about 5G; Even when the network expands, you’re still going to spend a lot of time on 4G – especially when you’re in more rural areas. Verizon is known for strong rural coverage, but not all of it, thanks to its 4G network. AT&T ranks second in this regard, and T-Mobile remains third in terms of rural coverage – although its merger with Sprint certainly helped.
5G coverage map: every city with 5G on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile
Choosing 5G plan
Thankfully, you no longer need to get a specific plan to use only 5G. All three major carriers offer 5G on all their plans – and you can also get 5G from prepaid carriers nowadays. So since you don’t need to bring a plan to be just 5G, the question instead is which plans offer you the best value for your situation.
Plan pricing can change dramatically depending on whether you are an individual or a group plan, and what features are outside of 5G – are most important to you.
For a single line, Verizon is the most expensive, starting at $ 70 per month. AT&T is $ 65, and T-Mobile is $ 60. Verizon Offers Aadhaar Plan In college Sub-6 5G, though – you need to spend $ 10 more per month to get mmwave. Most people will move to second-tier plans for their 5G phones, however, which is $ 80 per month on Verizon, $ 75 on AT&T, and $ 70 on T-Mobile.
For a group plan, for example with three lines, things are very competitive. For those high-end plans, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile come in at $ 55, $ 50, and $ 47 per line per month, respectively. Once you close the prices, it is the excess that makes the difference. Each carrier provides different levels of hot spot data, data access before being throttled, and promo-like streaming service subscriptions. See which one suits your needs, and go from there. You can have a look at our list of 5G phone deals for possible carrier discounts.
Understanding 5G Speed
I chose to highlight the speed for one reason: they are not just as important as coverage and plan costs. All three carriers offer very consistent 5G speeds, especially on their “nationwide” sub-6 5G network, which you’ll use the vast majority of the time. As long as you are in a relatively dense metro area, you are going to get good speed on all three carriers.
As I mentioned above, it is the coverage and stability that matters far more than peak download speed. Don’t let the catchy advertisements talking about crazy mmWave 5G speed entice you – it’s not important if you can’t get solid speed everywhere. If you are incredibly interested in which carriers provide the best possible speed, you can look to independent testers like PCMag to spark an overall understanding of the network. I just caution you not to overload those speed numbers when lifting the carrier.