Verizon’s 5G provides ‘half a gig, but only 0.4% of the time

Verizon’s 5G provides ‘half a gig – but only 0.4% of the time’

03 July 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Verizon provides the fastest 5G speed in the US, almost 500Mbps – but its customers can connect with it only 0.4% of the time because of coverage issues.

The figures come from Opensignal, a company that measures real speed via apps on phones.

“Verizon users saw their extremely fast 5G service 0.4% of the time because of the limited geographical reach of the mmWave wireless technology Verizon currently relies upon for 5G and the early stage of the 5G deployment,” says Opensignal analyst Ian Fogg.

Where mmWave technology is available on Verizon, Opensignal measured average speeds of 494.7Mbps.

“Verizon’s 5G users experienced the fastest average 5G speeds that Opensignal has seen to date on any carrier around the world,” says the company.

In realistic speed measurements, AT&T achieved 42.6Mbps and Verizon 41.0Mbps, “a statistical tie”, said the survey company. “This means that these two carriers have jointly won the download speed experience – 5G users award.”

T-Mobile US won the 5G availability award, as its 5G users spend 22.5% of time connected to 5G, said Opensignal. “The time connected to a 5G service is extremely important if users are to enjoy all of 5G’s benefits.”

T-Mobile US’s score was “a large margin” above Sprint and AT&T, with scores of 14.1% and 10.3%. T-Mobile US completed its merger with Sprint on 1 April and the networks are now being integrated.

“Sprint’s 5G users’ experience is already changing as new T-Mobile combines its network capabilities,” says Opensignal. “Following the completion of T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, the new T-Mobile is starting to provide Sprint 5G users with access to old T-Mobile’s 600MHz spectrum and so average 5G speeds are now 49.5Mbps but 5G Availability has risen from 10.3% to 14.1% of time.”

Opensignal adds: “We expect the mobile network experience of Sprint users will continue to change for some time.”