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What you need to know

  • PCMag has crowned T-Mobile as the fastest carrier in the United States for the first time.
  • The "Uncarrier" beat out AT&T and Verizon in the outlet's annual network test.

T-Mobile has beat out AT&T and Verizon to become America's fastest mobile network.

In the annual network test conducted by PCMag, T-Mobile came out on top as the fast mobile network in 2021. According to their testing, T-Mobile's massive investment in 5G over the last few years has propelled the company ahead of AT&T and Verizon.

In our 12th annual test, drivers traveled a total of 10,626 miles, surveying 30 major US metro areas and six rural regions to find out the state of 5G from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. T-Mobile took a commanding lead in 5G, winning 24 cities and rural regions to AT&T's eight and Verizon's two; we also saw one tie between T-Mobile and Verizon and one tie between T-Mobile and AT&T.

The report points to the recent merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, which allowed the company to now cover 165 million people in the country with 5G. That, coupled with its own network investments, now enables customers to get consistent 5G speeds that AT&T and Verizon currently can't match.

This year, for the first time, that choice is likely to be T-Mobile. T-Mobile's winning secret isn't much of a secret: It's mid-band spectrum, which T-Mobile calls "ultra-capacity" 5G. Now covering more than 165 million people in cities large and small, these airwaves (bought with the Sprint acquisition) let T-Mobile's network give consistent results between 150Mbps and 500Mbps of download speed. That's far better than AT&T and Verizon's 5G can do in most areas, and it secured T-Mobile's win.

Faster download speeds signal more capacity on a network. T-Mobile's widespread added capacity has also let it launch Magenta Max, the nation's first truly unlimited, no-deprioritization 5G plan, and its $60/month unlimited home broadband service.

T-Mobile continues to disrupt the market in other ways as well. The company just announced that, starting on August 25, customers with select plans can redeem a free year of Apple TV+.