The fastest mobile network in the US right now just might surprise you

Speedtest app running on phone
(Image credit: Future)

Update: T-Mobile just became the first carrier to offer this iPhone plan.

Ookla, the company behind one of the best speed testing apps, has released a report on the fastest mobile carriers in the U.S., revealing that T-Mobile took the top spot during the second quarter of this year.

According to extensive testing by the network intelligence and connectivity firm, T-Mobile had a median download speed of 116.54 Mbps on modern chipsets which can take full advantage of the carrier’s network.

Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless remained in second place with a median download speed of 59.67 Mbps while AT&T finished third at 54.64 Mbps.

When it came to upload speeds, T-Mobile also came in first at 11.72 Mbps followed by Verizon at 9.14 Mbps and AT&T at 7 Mbps. Latency was yet another win for T-Mobile with a median latency of 31 ms, just ahead of Verizon at 32 ms and AT&T at 34 ms.

5G performance and availability

5G network promo art

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As 5G smartphones have become more common, users want a mobile carrier that will allow them to take full advantage of their new devices.

If you recently upgraded to a 5G phone, you may want to consider making the switch to T-Mobile as the carrier had the fastest median 5G download speed in the U.S. according to Ookla’s Speedtest Intelligence.

In Q2 2022, T-Mobile had a 5G median download speed of 187.33 Mbps (up slightly from the previous quarter) followed by Verizon Wireless at 113.52 Mbps. AT&T had the poorest showing in 5G performance with a median download speed of just 71.54 Mbps.

In terms of 5G availability, T-Mobile once again claimed the top spot at 68.5 percent, though AT&T actually beat Verizon in this area at 55.8 percent versus 31.2 percent, respectively.

As part of its testing, Ookla also looked at the most popular devices in the U.S. during the second quarter of this year to see which were the fastest.

Smartphones from both Samsung and Apple were the most popular during Q2 and of these, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was the fastest with a median download speed of 105.26 Mbps. The iPhone 13 Pro Max came in second with a median download speed of 95.44 Mbps followed by the Galaxy S22+ (94.07 Mbps), the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G (93.08) and the iPhone 13 Pro (92.39 Mbps).

As such, Samsung devices had the fastest median download speed in the U.S. in the second quarter at 62.75 Mbps, with Apple close behind at 58.14 Mbps.

Ookla also looked at popular chipsets in the U.S. to discover that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (found in the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, OnePlus 10 Pro, Motorola Edge Plus (2022) and other newer devices) was the fastest with a median download speed of 100.85 Mbps. 

The states and cities with the fastest mobile speeds

Man Using Smartphone on the Street

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The District of Columbia took the top spot for the fastest median mobile download speed during Q2 2022 at 82.27 Mbps, followed by Minnesota (80.84 Mbps), New York (78.73 Mbps), New Jersey (78.66 Mbps) and Rhode Island (77.39 Mbps).

As for the cities with the fastest download speeds during the second quarter of this year, Tampa, Florida had the fastest median mobile download speed at 123.18 Mbps followed by Arlington, Texas (119.38 Mbps) and St Paul, Minnesota (112.80 Mbps).

Even if your state or city didn’t appear in Ookla’s latest report, it’s clear that T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and AT&T have been working hard to improve the performance of their respective networks across the U.S.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.