If your AT&T or Verizon phone is broken, it’s time to dive into the C. Both carriers are rolling out mid-band 5G (also known as C-band) in cities across the country, and as we roam 10,000 miles in search of America’s Best Mobile Network, we saw the difference start to become clear.
T-Mobile users can probably sit nicely. As long as you have a T-Mobile 5G phone, it supports the carrier‘s midband, which made T-Mobile the best and fastest mobile network in America in our tests this year.
But AT&T and Verizon users may need to step up. Not all AT&T and Verizon 5G phones support C-band, and C-band is much better and faster than their regular 5G. For a list of phones that support C-band, see our frequently updated list. (That’s for Verizon, but things are similar for AT&T.)
AT&T and Verizon call their slower low-band 5G “5G”. They call the C-band, along with the even faster but hard-to-find mmWave, “5G+” on AT&T and “5G UW” on Verizon. The following cities are where we saw the biggest differences between standard “5G” and the “5G+” or “UW” varieties, as well as enough faster stuff to matter.
Note that this list does not include the 30 cities we tested. The network detection software I wrote sometimes crashed, so we weren’t able to investigate each of our test cities for 5G+ status. But we have learned enough to give you some good leads.
In the images below, the blue dots mark where we found “5G+” on AT&T and the red dots mark where we saw “5G UW” on Verizon.
Austin: AT&T and Verizon
Verizon is really struggling in Austin, and T-Mobile was our winner there. But with Verizon and AT&T, upgrading to C-band will give you major benefits by at least tripling your speeds.
T-Mobile was the fastest network in Boston, while AT&T was (barely) the best overall this year. But if you’re on Verizon, you’ll reap the benefits by switching to a C-band phone. In Boston, we saw speeds of 200-300 Mbps in C-band, compared to 85-150 Mbps without.
C-band is making a less massive but still significant upgrade in Charlotte, where switching to a C-band Verizon phone bumped averages from 170 Mbps to 250 Mbps in testing.
Detroit: AT&T and Verizon
Detroit rocks C-band on AT&T and Verizon. We’ve seen AT&T’s C-band results roughly double speeds, while Verizon’s have more than tripled them. Our AT&T phone reported “5G+” in Dearborn, Eastpointe, Farmington Hills, and Livonia, as well as Detroit proper. Verizon and T-Mobile both showed off their mid-band 5G throughout the metro area.
Houston: AT&T and Verizon
Everyone builds in Houston! AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all have mid-band (and in Verizon’s case, noticeable high-band) 5G accelerating mobile phones and home internet in Houston. Switching to the best form of 5G will at least double your AT&T speeds and likely triple your Verizon speeds here.
Miami: AT&T and Verizon
South Florida is now a hotbed of 5G. Not only do all carriers have mid-band 5G in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, they have it all the way to the Keys – in the case of T-Mobile and Verizon, even all the way to Key West!
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The move to C-band on AT&T in Miami boosted average download speeds from 60 Mbps to 110 Mbps and speeds on Verizon from 108 Mbps to over 300 Mbps. AT&T’s performance is sure to improve as the build continues, so it’s only going to get better.
(In this AT&T test, the C-band 5G+ slots we found are marked in orange.)
New York: AT&T and Verizon
All carriers have seen their performance increase significantly in New York with the midband. Take a look at our previous article on Verizon’s C-band in New York for more details on the carrier’s rise.
New York didn’t have AT&T C-band when we ran our tests, but we found the carrier flipped the switch in early June, with the network throughout Manhattan’s east side. Check out our full test report to see how riding the C-band train can triple your performance in some of Manhattan’s slowest spots.
Portland, OR: Verizon
Without 5G UW, Portland is a congested city for Verizon. With C-band, you zoom into the fast lane. The switch to Verizon 5G UW boosted speeds in Portland from just 63 Mbps to at least 250 Mbps.
The best mobile network in 2022
You already know the big winner, but check out our testing process and results for all the other cities we visited in our quest to find the best mobile network in the US.
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