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Are T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon tampering with 5G coverage?

5G smartphone customers receive 5G service 34.7% of their time on the T-Mobile network, 16.4% of the time on AT&T and only 9.7% on Verizon, according to the latest Opensignal report.

The numbers contrast with what operators promise about 5G in their ads, Reuters reported. The Opensignal report shows that T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are misleading 5G coverage to their 5G smartphone customers.

Interestingly, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon are spending billions of dollars on their mobile network and fiber to boost 5G business. T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon have never disclosed their additional revenue from 5G activities.

What they claim

US carriers have extended their 5G coverage using their low-band 5G networks. In July 2021, T-Mobile announced that it was covering 305 million people using its 600 MHz frequency band. AT&T has covered 250 million people using the 850 MHz band. Earlier this year, Verizon announced that its 5G service was available to 230 million people.

Wrong signals about 5G companies?

T-Mobile announces that it has America’s largest, fastest and most reliable 5G network with a map almost entirely covered in pink, suggesting wide coverage. The card doesn’t distinguish what kind of 5G a customer will get, but the fine print indicates that it’s a mix of lower performing versions. T-Mobile’s high-performance 5G coverage is only available in hundreds of cities and millions of people instead of most of the country.

AT&T claims to have the most reliable 5G network, citing a test performed for AT&T by Global Wireless Solutions, which assesses mobile networks. AT&T notes that its 5G + broadband is available in certain high-speed areas and sites in more than 20 states in the United States.

Asked what appears to be a disparity between advertising and coverage, Grant Castle of T-Mobile, vice president of network engineering, said he thinks the company is doing well. “Is our network as large and extensive as I would like? No, we’re still working on it, ”Castle said.

5G is still at the beginning of its lifecycle and is evolving and improving through continued investment and innovation, said Andre Fuetsch, technical director of network services at AT&T, in an emailed statement.

BBB’s national advertising division for national programs slammed claims about 5G by all three companies, including one in August that prompted Verizon to change its claim that it was most trusted to say it didn’t. specifically referring to 5G service.

“5G is right now in the wrong until you take it on the stage,” said Harold Feld, of the public knowledge advocacy group which promotes affordable communication, adding that when a new technology is developed, advertising gets ahead. often the actual deployment.

“Low-income neighborhoods, and to some extent rural areas, are usually the last to benefit from new technologies,” said Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance advocacy group.

Mitchell said what is billed as 5G in rural areas is often just the faster and faster 4G.

Internationally, the story of 5G is similar. South Korea tops the best 5G availability list with 28.1% of the time, with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Hong Kong all above 25%, according to an OpenSignal report in early September.

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