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Verizon has the fastest 5G, but there’s a catch

Speed doesn't mean much if you can't stay connected.

Published onMay 21, 2020

Verizon Wireless logo stock image 8
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

A new survey by OpenSignal has found that Verizon offers the fastest average 5G download speed, and it’s not even close.

The survey of 10 carriers in four countries shows that Verizon offers an average 5G download speed of 506.1Mbps. That’s more than double the speed of second-placed LG U+ in Korea (238Mbps). Check out the chart below.

opensignal 5G download speed

It’s worth noting that Verizon is only using mmWave technology for its 5G network, and this doesn’t have a long reach at all. In fact, OpenSignal also found Verizon users only spend 0.5% of their time connected to 5G, landing in last place.

opensignal 5G time spent

Meanwhile, T-Mobile uses slower sub-6Ghz technology that’s able to travel much further than mmWave. This is reflected in the survey, with T-Mobile users spending the most time connected to 5G (19.8%) but in last place for average 5G download speeds (47Mbps). In fact, those download speeds aren’t much faster than Gigabit LTE.

We’re expecting 5G coverage to only get better of course, boosting the amount of time people spend connected to 5G networks. But I doubt mmWave-only networks will be able to achieve anywhere near the same amount of coverage as sub-6Ghz-only carriers. Still, 4G LTE is plenty fast as a fallback nonetheless.

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