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 fast
- Millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G: Monstrously fast but terrible for coverage
T-Mobile’s low-band service covers over 90% of Americans. The network’s mid-band coverage is expanding quickly and covers over 200 million people. T-Mobile’s mmWave coverage is extremely limited.
If you zoom in on the interactive coverage map, different shades indicate the type of service available:2
- 5G Extended Range refers to T-Mobile’s low-band 5G
- 5G Ultra Capacity refers to T-Mobile’s faster 5G services
Millimeter wave 5G coverage
I’m aware of T-Mobile offering millimeter wave 5G in select parts of seven cities.3
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 five different bands for its 5G service.
- n71 (600 MHz) – Nationwide coverage, low-band 5G
- n41 (2.5 GHZ) – Moderate coverage, mid-band 5G
- n258 (24 GHz) – Limited coverage, mmWave 5G
- n261 (28 GHz) – Limited coverage, mmWave 5G
- n260 (39 GHz) – Limited coverage, mmWave 5G
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.
Last updated: 2/9/2022
- The screenshot of T-Mobile’s coverage map came from the company’s website on 6/16/2020.
- The snapshot came from T-Mobile’s coverage map on 2/9/2022.
- It’s possible T-Mobile has expanded millimeter wave service to additional cities that I’m unaware of. Regardless, T-Mobile’s millimeter wave 5G is extremely rare.