T-Mobile 5G

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T-Mobile’s 5G network is the fastest and most widely available 5G you can get. The “Un-carrier” delivers faster speeds than other 5G providers, with users hitting an average of 87.5 Mbps on 5G phones.1 T-Mobile’s long-range version of 5G is available to 305 million people in all 50 states, while the carrier’s “ultra capacity,” mid-band 5G reaches 165 million customers.2

In addition to cellular access, T-Mobile also has a new home internet service based on 5G. It costs a flat fee of $60 per month and gives you an average of 100 Mbps speeds and unlimited data.

T-Mobile is truly taking the lead on 5G. So, how can you get it? And how much does it cost? We’ve got the details about T-Mobile’s 5G network right here.

Pro tip:

Still not sure what 5G is all about? Take a look at our 5G providers page for a full explanation.

T-Mobile 5G rollout

Provider5G average speeds5G availability*View plans
T-Mobile58.1 Mbps30.1%View Plans
AT&T53.8 Mbps18.8%View Plans
Verizon47.4 Mbps9.5%View Plans

T-Mobile has a leg up against its main cellular rivals thanks to a 2020 corporate merger with Sprint, which has given it a much larger wireless footprint. It’s also the only carrier right now with a proper mid-band 5G network, which delivers speeds upwards of 350 Mbps in dozens of major cities and large towns, including modestly-sized locations like Ithaca, New York and Medina, Ohio.3

Still, you won’t always be on the 5G network when you’re in an area with T-Mobile’s 5G. In areas where 5G is available, customers have accessed it for just over a third of their phone time. (When you’re not on 5G, your phone reverts to the 4G network.)

T-Mobile’s average 5G speeds are 200% faster than its 4G LTE speeds.1, 4 And you can expect speeds to get faster still, at least in urban areas. As T-Mobile builds up “ultra capacity” 5G and millimeter-wave 5G—the fastest but shortest-range type of 5G—you can expect to see gigabit speeds on many 5G phones in the coming months and years.

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Want 5G home internet? T-Mobile has you covered

T-Mobile Home Internet is a home internet service that’s available to millions of Americans in 49 states. It costs $60 a month and works on a fixed-wireless connection, delivering an average of around 100 Mbps speeds on 5G networks (and 4G where 5G isn’t available).

T-Mobile Home Internet emphasizes straightforwardness, challenging cable and fiber providers with a simple pricing model and relatively fast speeds. The $60 a month fee (with autopay) includes equipment and installation costs, so there’s no hidden fees or seasonal price hikes. You also get unlimited data and you don’t have to sign an annual contract.

The service first launched in a trial form, so for months it was only available to a tiny number of T-Mobile customers. But T-Mobile properly launched T-Mobile Home Internet in April 2021, making it much more widely available.

This is still a relatively untested internet service—cable and fiber options are far more well-known and many customers will consider them a better bet. But it’s definitely worth trying out. And if you don’t like it, you can just cancel without having to pay any fees.

Pro tip:

One major advantage of 5G residential internet is that you can get much faster speeds and lower lag. Use our How Much Internet Speed Do I Need? Tool to gauge how much firepower you’ll need over wireless Wi-Fi.

T-Mobile 5G coverage map

T-Mobile’s 5G network is available in over 7,500 cities and towns in every state across America. It serves 305 million people across 1.7 million square miles. By most accounts, T-Mobile has the most widely available 5G network currently operating in the United States.2

To see whether T-Mobile 5G is available in your area, type your location into T-Mobile’s online 5G coverage map. You can also look at T-Mobile’s coverage map below.

T-Mobile 5G coverage map

How do you get T-Mobile 5G?

To get on T-Mobile’s 5G network, you need a 5G phone or 5G mobile hotspot along with a T-Mobile cellular plan.

All of T-Mobile’s unlimited-data phone plans allow you to access the 5G network. On any T-Mobile unlimited plan, you get access to the company’s 4G LTE network by default. You can also get on 5G service when you’re in range of the new service.

Plan5G access?Price*Premium data**Mobile hotspot dataData limitView plans
Magenta MAXYes$85/mo. per lineUnlimited (no throttling at all)40 GB of 5G and 4G LTE (+ unlimited 3G)UnlimitedView Plans
MagentaYes$70/mo. per line100 GB (speeds reduced afterward during network congestion)3 GB of 4G LTE (+ unlimited 3G)UnlimitedView Plans
EssentialsYes$60/mo. per line50 GB (speeds reduced afterward during network congestion)Unlimited 3GUnlimited (speeds slowed during network congestion)View Plans

Keep in mind that you may not be connected to 5G all the time, since T-Mobile is still expanding its service availability. According to a July 2021 report from mobile analytics firm Opensignal, T-Mobile’s wireless customers spent 36.3% of their phone time connected to the 5G network.1 The rest of the time they were on 4G LTE.

That may not sound like wide availability, but T-Mobile is making faster progress than its rivals. The same Opensignal report finds that AT&T’s wireless customers spent just 22.5% of their phone time on AT&T’s growing 5G network.

T-Mobile 5G speeds

Cell carrierAverage 5G speed5G availability*View plans
T-Mobile87.5 Mbps36.3%View Plans
Verizon52.3 Mbps10.5%View Plans
AT&T52.3 Mbps22.5%View Plans

T-Mobile’s 5G network delivers average download speeds of 58.1 Mbps.1 That’s noticeably faster than the average speeds of its rivals.

Needless to say, T-Mobile is not hitting the mind-bending 5G speeds originally promised by experts and media observers. Millimeter-wave 5G—the fastest type of 5G you can get—is known to hit upwards of 1,000 Mbps speeds, albeit only in relatively contained and densely populated areas (think: sports stadiums, concert halls, and public parks). Mid-band 5G hits speeds of around 300–500 Mbps.

Still, 87.5 Mbps is way fast for cell data—and this is just the beginning.

How fast is your phone data? 

Not sure what kind of speeds you’re getting with your cellular plan? Take our speed test to see if you’d benefit from a 5G boost.

How fast will T-Mobile 5G be in the future?

T-Mobile’s 5G network has the potential to hit 1,000 Mbps or faster, so long as it achieves benchmarks in building out its mid-band and millimeter-wave 5G infrastructure.

The company launched its first standalone 5G network in August 2020. Rather than rely on previously built 4G infrastructure, a standalone network incorporates brand-new systems architecture, allowing for greater network efficiency and precise signal targeting for your mobile device.

T-Mobile has also been rolling out more mid-band availability. Mid-band frequencies like 2.5 GHz have a greater capacity for carrying data, making them way faster than low-band 5G. Mid-band spectrum also doesn’t have the extremely limited range of millimeter wave technology. Mid-band spectrum can’t reach millimeter-wave speed, but it can still deliver really fast speeds at a distance of several miles.

T-Mobile 5G phones

DevicePriceDisplayMore details
iPhone 12$829.996.1" Super Retina XDRView on T-Mobile
iPhone 12 Pro$999.996.1" Super Retina XDRView on T-Mobile
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G$699.996.5" FHD+ Super AMOLEDView on T-Mobile
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G$799.996.7" FHD+ Super AMOLEDView on T-Mobile
OnePlus 8 5G$599.996.55" Fluid AMOLEDView on T-Mobile

5G phones are coming out hot on the market these days, and T-Mobile offers some of the most popular ones along with its phone plans.

You also may notice that the price of 5G devices has been trending downward. The first 5G phones cost upwards of $900, but naturally as the network technology develops and gains in popularity, more affordable models come out—including the relatively affordable new iPhone 12 mini.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are definitely the hottest new phones on the market. Along with pristine displays, high-performance cameras, and water-resistant screens, they are compatible with a wide range of 5G spectrums and frequencies.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is also very popular and consistent. Then there’s Motorola’s redesigned razr 5G, the latest iteration of the much-ballyhooed foldable phone trend.

Pro tip:

If you haven’t quite figured out the finer differences between 5G and its older predecessor, 4G, read our 4G vs. 5G guide to get the details.

What does the T-Mobile and Sprint merger mean for Sprint customers?

Sprint customers will notice a handful of minor changes to their accounts due to Sprint’s recent merger with T-Mobile. But they will still have the same wireless plans, pay the same price, and their phones will still work on Sprint and T-Mobile networks.

You’ll now access your account online through T-Mobile’s website, and all of Sprint’s brick-and-mortar stores are now T-Mobile stores. You also may notice a decline in data speed if you have an older Sprint phone, since T-Mobile is requisitioning part of Sprint’s spectrum for 5G.4

Sprint customers will gradually be folded into the T-Mobile brand over a period of years. Your current phone plan won’t be affected until at least 2023, and your Sprint phone will still work. You’ll also be able to access T-Mobile’s network where Sprint’s isn’t available.

However, you may reach a point when you’ll need to upgrade to a new phone or plan—especially if you want to upgrade to T-Mobile’s 5G network. For more information, head to T-Mobile’s page about the Sprint merger.

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FAQ about T-Mobile 5G

Is 5G in my area?

5G is likely in your area if you live in a large metropolitan area served by one of the three major cellular carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon) in the United States. However, as we point out on our 5G providers page, 5G is still growing and there’s limited access at the moment. Even if you can get on 5G, it will be only in certain areas in your city or town. If it’s not available where your phone is at, you’ll revert back to 4G LTE networks.

To know for sure whether 5G is in your area, type your location into T-Mobile’s 5G availability map, AT&T’s coverage map, and Verizon’s coverage map.

Where is 5G available?

5G is available mostly in select parts of large cities and towns across the country. But 5G networks are expanding every day, including into some rural areas and smaller markets. Within the next few years, it will likely be readily available nationwide. It may even be an option for home internet on par with cable and fiber internet.

How do I get 5G from T-Mobile?

To get 5G from T-Mobile, you’ll need a T-Mobile wireless plan and a 5G phone or hotspot that’s compatible with T-Mobile’s 5G network. You don’t have to pay extra or sign up for a special plan to access 5G over T-Mobile—when you have a 5G device, it will connect automatically to T-Mobile’s 5G network when it’s available. Otherwise you’ll be riding on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE.

Sources

  1. Francesco Rizzato, Opensignal, “5G User Experience Report,” July 2021. Accessed August 17, 2021.
  2. Neville Ray, T-Mobile, “A 5G Build Update! And a Look Toward the Future of 5G,” July 27, 2021. Accessed August 17, 2021.
  3. Sascha Segan, PC Mag, “T-Mobile Finally Reveals Its ‘Ultra Capacity’ 5G Map,” July 28, 2021. Accessed August 17, 2021.
  4. Francesco Rizzato, Opensignal, “Mobile Network Experience Report,” July 2021. Accessed August 17, 2021.