Which Cell Phone Service Provider Has the Best Coverage?

Posted by on March 11, 2016

Wireless telecommunication map of United States:
Telecommunication Map of USA

When you're choosing a cellular carrier, getting strong and fast coverage wherever you go is, arguably, the most important thing. For years, we have been going by highly disputed network tests supposedly performed by biased companies to find out who has the best service. Now, in the first survey if its kind, OpenSignal has revealed by crowd sourcing over 182,000 phone's cellular information to discover which of the big four carriers offer the best 4G coverage as well as 3G and 4G download speeds. With the results crowdsourced and collated, they have launched their "State of the Mobile Network" report. Let us dig in.

Who has the best 4G coverage?

Over the last five years, 4G has gone from a luxurious rarity on phones like the HTC Evo 4G (remember that?) to a basic requirement of the modern smartphone. Also in that period, we have seen its expansion across the nation. In 2016, who has the best 4G coverage?

• Verizon – 86.73%.
• AT&T – 82.63%.
• T-Mobile – 81.23%.
• Sprint – 70.5%.

Those numbers are somewhat surprising, if only because they dispel many of the myths around T-Mobile and their supposedly poor coverage. They made some superb gains in 2015, and we’d expect them to do the same in 2016.

Who has the best 4G download speeds?

When you do find that sweet 4G signal, you want it to be fast. Who came out on top for download speeds?

• T-Mobile – 12.26 Mbps.
• Verizon – 11.98 Mbps.
• AT&T – 7.93 Mbps.
• Sprint – 6.56 Mbps.

Another shock result as T-Mobile storm into the lead with a very respectable 12.26Mbps average download speed across 4G. Once again, Sprint is the big loser here, though it could be said that the entire US is lagging behind in 2016. The global 4G average is 13.5 Mbps, whilst the US average is a meagre 9.9 Mbps.

Who has the best 3G download speeds?

Finally, when 4G proves elusive, your 3G signal should be able to hold its own. Let us see how the big four did:

• T-Mobile – 3.48 Mbps.
• AT&T – 2.22 Mbps.
• Verizon - 0.66 Mbps.
• Sprint – 0.64 Mbps.

Once again, T-Mobile topped the listings, though this time it was far from a close run thing. AT&T offered reasonable performance, but Verizon and Sprint came out of this test looking very poor indeed.

Did these results surprise you, and will they make you think twice about signing up for any particular carrier? Let us know in the comments. Remember, if you're stuck in a contract with your cell phone or tablet pulling poor reception at home or workplace, buy a cell phone signal booster to resolve the problem for good:)

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