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Home / Tips and Tricks / Verizon vs. AT & T vs. Sprint vs. T-Mobile: How To Pick The Best 5G Carrier

Verizon vs. AT & T vs. Sprint vs. T-Mobile: How To Pick The Best 5G Carrier



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AT's 5G network on a Galaxy S10 5G phone.


Logan Moy / CNET

5G is coming to your city. As of this spring, Verizon and then AT & T, Sprint and T-Mobile began establishing 5G networks at higher 5G speeds in the US ̵

1; from Minneapolis to Dallas and New York to Los Angeles.

Depending on where you live, you may not see it for a while, in particular if you are more rural than urban . And even if 5G comes into your area, the reception areas may be small and the reception may be problematic. But if so, you need to know which carrier will give you the most for your money.

5G becomes global: We tested 5G speeds around the world.

5G is the highly anticipated fifth generation wireless networking technology capable of delivering fiber-like speeds to phones, cars, homes, and factories. And while 5G promises speeds that will allow you to load a full-length movie into your phone in seconds, it's not just about the rocket-fast connections. The wireless standard is designed to significantly reduce network latency (or delay time). For example, you can play a real-time fighting game against other players on your phone or assist each other in monitoring self-driving cars on the road. [19659008] To build their 5G networks, the four major US carriers use a combination of available frequency bands, and their mix of frequency bands defines the coverage. On one side is "sub-6", which makes extremely efficient and reliable connections over long distances, both inside and outside. Sub-6 currently runs on frequency bands from 2.5 GHz to 6 GHz.

On the other hand, 5G can also refer to "millimeter wave" or "mmWave", which offers a much higher capacity over much shorter distances (ie ultra-fast speeds above 1 Gbit / s). The reception can be difficult with walls, glass and even a hand that can block the mmWave signal. mmWave uses frequency bands above 24 GHz.

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What the hell is a 5G network?



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Unless you're interested in being an early 5G user, today you have little reason to change. The current 5G phones are expensive and cost the battery of the device. Most likely, you pay a premium for jumping into the 5G network of a network operator. If you are not near a 5G node, you may spend more time with 4G than with 5G, at least first.

But 5G is inevitable, just like 4G 3G has previously replaced. Eventually it will come to all of us. Whether you choose a 5G network now, or wait to see how 5G is introduced in your area, be aware of the following when looking at a 5G mobile service provider.

Cost: 5G phones and prices are not cheap

These are the beginnings of 5G, and the major airlines are starting to reveal their plans and cell phones. More 5G phones will be added over the next year and airlines will adjust their plans. But right now we have the following. (The following table shows how the Verizon, AT & T, Sprint, and T-Mobile 5G plans stack up.)

5G phones are not cheap at present with most devices being clear over $ 1,000. The Galaxy S10 5G, for example, costs $ 1,300. You can also buy the LG V50 ThinQ for $ 1,222. But you can find deals like the Motorola Moto Z4 phone and the required Moto Mod accessories for the current price of $ 440, but these are the exception. Outside the US, there are options such as OnePlus 7 Pro 5G and Oppo Reno 5G .

If the price of a 5G phone seems steep, you can pay month by month instead of buying the phone in advance. But the downside, as with any other phone, is that you may still be paying for a first generation 5G phone that could feel outdated in two years.

Comparison of 5G data plans for Big 4 US mobile service providers

Monthly, individual Monthly, Family / Group Monthly free allowance for hotspots Cities with live 5G Other charges
Verizon Beyond Limited $ 85 for a line $ 50 per line for 4 lines Unlimited for 5G 4 $ 10 monthly access fee, currently enacted
Verizon Above Limited $ 95 for a line $ 60 per line for 4 lines Unlimited for 5G 4 $ 10 monthly access fee, currently enacted
AT & T Business Unlimited Perferred * $ 90 for a line $ 165/2 lines at $ 490 for 10 lines 20 GB 20 (hotspot only) $ 25 per month per phone; $ 150 for a mobile hotspot
Sprint Unlimited Premium $ 80 for a line $ 140 for 2 lines to $ 200 for 5 lines 100 GB 4
T-Mobile Essentials $ 30 for a line $ 30 per line for 4 lines Unlimited for 3G 6
T-Mobile Magenta $ 40 for a line $ 40 per line for 4 lines 3 GB for 4G 6
T-Mobile Magenta Plus $ 50 for a line $ 50 per line for 4 lines 20 GB for 4G 6
* AT & T's 5G network is for business. No public date for consumer access.

The phone is not the only one you pay a premium for. Mobile operators can include you and your 5G phone at one of their upscale rates. So you can expect to pay for unlimited amounts of data. For example, at Verizon, a 5G plan for a single line starts at $ 85. Although the network operator has temporarily waived its monthly fee of $ 10 for the 5G service, it is expected to take effect later. That alone is $ 120 a year, which you only pay for using 5G.

Other Possible Costs: If you pay for your current phone every month, you'll need to pay it off in full before you use the phone. Switch unless a special offer makes the difference to get you to switch. You may also be able to compensate for these expenses by exchanging your phone or reselling it .

Another issue: If your plan has a data cap, you can consume much of your . 5G data allocation in less than an hour, as we did in Australia, where an editor took half of his monthly data plan in 25 minutes and downloaded a game and several films over a 5G network he was testing ,

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The entire range of the 5G assigned spectrum extends from 1 GHz to over 24 GHz.


Sprint

And something you should keep in mind: Sprint is live with 5G in four cities, but a potential drawback to the 5G rollout of Sprint and T-Mobile is the planned merger of the two companies. Sprint and T-Mobile are working hard to obtain approval for their merger by July 29 . A thumbs-up from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission could enable the newly-formed company and its federated network to launch at 5G.

Reporting: What can you expect from 5G today?

Unbelievably fast network speeds. The cover varies from block to block. Unexpected change between 5G and 4G. Large parts of the country – both urban and rural – have no 5G at all. 5G is here but just barely.

The four major airlines are slowly lighting up 5G networks in about two dozen cities in the US, but each is pursuing a different approach to the introduction of Verizon AT & T will offer a tiny 5G coverage in four cities and after 5G hotspots looking for wireless 5G networks.

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A map of Atlanta with T-Mobile's 5G cover.


T-Mobile

To see for yourself if 5G is available in your region or not, Ookla tracks the global rollout of 5G networks through its Speedtest.net service. With Speedtest's interactive map, you can drill down at the city level to see which companies have deployed 5G.

The map does not tell the whole story. In the next step, compare where you live and work or go to school with each provider's network coverage card. If you are often near a network operator's hotspots, you may be redirected to 5G sooner rather than later.

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Ookla tracks the introduction of 5G networks in the US and worldwide and weekly updates its interactive map [19659003] Ookla

The current 4G data network is also getting faster.

The introduction of 5G in the US will be slow. It is rumored, for example, that Apple will launch a 5G phone in 2020 at the earliest. Analyst predicts that sales of 5G phones will exceed sales of 4G devices in 2023. And T-Mobile calls 2024 the year when everything comes together.

In the meantime, the 4G networks continue to carry the wireless load for the mobile operators, just as 3G has led us through the transition to 4G. 4G networks are also expected to become faster when 5G networks are built. Even if you do not work immediately with 5G, 4G should have a certain benefit.

Another word for the cunning: Note the unusual claims about 5G network coverage. At the beginning of this year, AT & T tried to stay one step ahead of the 5G wave and displayed the symbol "5G E" on a handful of its 4G phones. Under pressure, the company abandoned the confusing 5G claim and introduced 5G services in parts of 20 cities via hotspots.

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The AT & T 5G- Network has some of the fastest speeds we've ever had …



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Change to 5G now or wait?

If you do not need a 5G phone right now, search for 5G offers and bundles from your mobile service provider when 5G is available in your area. Also, consider a change of carrier if you have a better deal or better coverage in your area when you are ready to switch to 5G for some time. Before you switch to a 5G phone and get customer support, ask your carrier if you know when you are connected to 5G and what are the return policies if you can not get acceptable 5G speeds , For returns, you often receive a 14-day period. Make sure you have a spare phone if you only want to try 5G, but you're not sure.

Remember that 5G is the technology that will accompany us for the next decade. So the wait will not be a bad thing: the cost should go down, a wider range of phones should go online, and reach will increase.

Whether you're boarding or waiting, check this out – we'll continue to update this as new 5G phones arrive and mobile operators improve their network coverage and optimize their data plans to meet demand.


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