US LTE Open Signal Feb 2017 200

One reason Verizon is moving early on 5G is they need to have people think they are by far the best. Their entire business model is based on people paying more because they believe Verizon is superior. That's no longer true; AT&T and T-Mobile are so close to Verizon in quality most people wouldn't notice the difference. Jennie has T-Mobile here in New York, a hard city to service. She's not seeing any problems. 

The chart at the left from Open Signal shows T-Mobile running faster in several parts of the country. They've hired Kevin Fitchard to blog for them. He's doing excellent work, as he did at GigaOm. Verizon of course has data from another source saying they are better.

My guess is that Verizon is slightly better, especially in the most rural 5% of the country.

But if you don't spend a great deal of time in rural areas, the difference is insignificant.  

Meanwhile, Verizon is flooding television with obnoxious ads saying, "We're the best." They base that on a single source that isn't transparent. Their claim may be seriously out of date. T-Mobile's testing since Verizon went "unlimited" shows speeds falling 14%. It's just confusing people, especially as T-Mobile has billboards in New York claiming a faster speed.

When someone like Verizon repeats "trust me" incessantly, with minimal evidence, only a fool would believe them,

dave askJuly 2018 Verizon's $20B 5G build is starting to add customers in 2018. Gigabit LTE & Massive MIMO became real in 2017. Verizon U.S. 5G mmWave 5G is firm. Almost all the other "5G" is mid-band, 70%-90% slower + hype. Europe is mostly pr. The term 5G has been bastardized, unfortunately.

Being a reporter is a great job for a geek. I'm not an engineer but I've learned from some of the best, including the primary inventors of DSL, cable modems, MIMO, Massive MIMO, and now 5G mmWave. Since 1999, I've done my best to get closer to the truth about broadband.

Send questions and news to Dave Burstein, Editor. I always want to hear from you, especially if you catch a mistake.