America’s fastest carrier
Big Magenta scored 117.83 Mbps median download speeds which is a fairly large increase over its result in Q4 when it was again the fastest. The second place is taken by Verizon this time around, with 62.62 Mbps, reflecting its C-Band switch, while AT&T scored 56.1 Mbps. Here are the Speedtest Intelligence report’s main US carrier benchmark findings for Q1:
- Verizon was the fastest fixed broadband provider in the United States during Q1 2022, edging out XFINITY with a median download speed of 184.36 Mbps to XFINITY’s 179.12 Mbps.
- T-Mobile took the top spot as the fastest and most consistent mobile operator in the US during Q1 2022, achieving a median download speed of 117.83 Mbps and a Consistency Score of 88.3% — both increases over Q4 2021.
- Looking at tests taken only on 5G, T-Mobile achieved the fastest median 5G download speed at 191.12 Mbps during Q1 2022. Verizon also had a notable increase in 5G download speed during Q1 2022 over Q4 2021, which was helped by turning on new C -Band spectrum in January.
- The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was the fastest popular device in the US at 116.33 Mbps during Q1 2022.
Needless to say, the Speedtest Intelligence report is based on “millions of consumer-initiated tests taken every day with Speedtest,” so it is somewhat skewed to downtowns and more heavily populated areas where T-Mobile has denser coverage, on average, than the rural spots that Verizon or AT&T are covering.
The phone with fastest download speeds belongs to Samsung
Samsung has three of the top five phones with the fastest download speeds and the Galaxy S22 Ultra as well as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 occupy the top two places with a median download speeds of 116.33 Mbps and 100.83 Mbps, respectively.
The fastest download speeds scored by an Apple iPhone go to the flagship iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro models, while Samsung’s 2021 flagship the Galaxy S21 Ultra rounds up the top five in the category.
Those are pretty explainable numbers, given that the S22 Ultra has Qualcomm’s newest X65 5G modem, as it can take full advantage from the carrier aggregation options offered to it. In fact, T-Mobile recently bragged about the optimizations that phones with this modem can enjoy on its network:
- T-Mobile will be able to take advantage of the Qualcomm X65’s three-carrier 5G aggregation in several different ways. The carrier has more than 100MHz of mid-band 5G spectrum in a lot of places, and in those places, it needs 3xCA to do two 100MHz mid-band channels plus a low-band channel for uplink/better range. There are also some cities (like New York) where its mid-band allocation is split in half and can be used like two separate bands. So X65 phones (such as the Galaxy S22) should bring considerable performance improvements on T-Mobile’s mid-band.
- 3.45-to-3.55GHz spectrum, which is in the middle of being auctioned, should clear in some places by the end of 2022. This means that AT&T, and whoever else buys that spectrum, will potentially see a considerable boost in C-band performance specifically when used with those X65 modems next year, over and above the initial C-band launches.
Fastest 5G network speeds
When it comes to 5G, nothing beats T-Mobile yet again. The Un-carrier managed to score 191 Mbps median download speeds over its 5G network, while the second Verizon offered 107 Mbps, and AT&T was third with 68 Mbps. T-Mobile also showed the highest, 65% of 5G network availability, indicating that its layered cake strategy and the mid-bands it scored from the merger with Sprint, were the right moves at the time.