5G abstract

T-Mobile’s 5G Coverage: Maps & Strategy

5G service can be split into three categories:

  • Low-band 5G: Awesome for coverage but only decent for speed
  • Mid-band 5G: Good for coverage and pretty fast
  • Millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G: Monstrously fast but terrible for coverage

While T-Mobile plans to roll out all three kinds of 5G, the vast majority of T-Mobile’s current 5G service makes use of low-band 5G. T-Mobile’s low-band service already covers over 200 million Americans.

T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G covers several hundred cities, and T-Mobile is working to quickly expand mid-band coverage. The company hopes to cover at least 100 million people with mid-band 5G by the end of 2020.

T-Mobile’s mmWave rollouts are still in the early stages. According the most recent information I’ve seen, T-Mobile has only deployed mmWave 5G in select parts of seven cities.

Coverage map

T-Mobile claims, more-or-less accurately, that it’s the only network offering nationwide 5G. T-Mobile’s interactive 5G coverage map can be found on the company’s website.1

T-Mobile 5G coverage map

I don’t know of any up-to-date maps where T-Mobile distinguishes between low-band, mid-band, and millimeter wave coverage areas. I expect maps with more granular details about 5G coverage will be released when T-Mobile’s 5G deployments are more mature.

Millimeter wave 5G coverage

T-Mobile offers millimeter wave 5G in select parts of seven cities.

  • Atlanta
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York

Within these cities, mmWave coverage is extremely sparse. It’s probably not a coincidence that T-Mobile hasn’t bothered to publish mmWave coverage maps. In the cities where mmWave is offered, T-Mobile subscribers may only find the service in a handful of outdoor areas.

T-Mobile’s 5G bands

T-Mobile is currently using four different bands for its 5G service.

  • n71 (600 MHz) – Nationwide coverage, low-band 5G
  • n41 (2.5 GHZ) – Moderate coverage, mid-band 5G
  • n261 (28 GHz) – Limited coverage, mmWave 5G
  • n260 (39 GHz) – Limited coverage, mmWave 5G

T-Mobile’s 5G-enabled phones

T-Mobile offers several 5G-compatible phones. Note that some of these phones have support for T-Mobile’s low-frequency 5G but lack support for mmWave 5G.

Phones with mmWave support:
Apple:

Samsung:

Phones lacking mmWave support:

5G coverage on MVNOs using T-Mobile’s network

T-Mobile has extended 5G access with no extra charge to its flanker brand, Metro. It looks like MVNOs running over T-Mobile’s network are also starting to roll out 5G services, typically without extra charges. I have dedicated pages about 5G coverage for some of the MVNOs running over T-Mobile’s network:


Last updated: 12/07/2020

Footnotes

  1. The screenshot of T-Mobile’s coverage map came from the company’s website on 6/16/2020.