Quantifying the mmWave 5G experience in the US — October update

Opensignal analyzed the mobile experience of our U.S. users when they connected to mmWave 5G networks. This analysis complements the latest USA 5G Experience Report that looks at the overall 5G mobile experience across all 5G frequency bands and all 5G users.

In this analysis, our users have seen the fastest average mmWave 5G download speed of 607.2 Mbps using Verizon, which was more than twice as fast as our users’ average experience on both AT&T and T-Mobile. Verizon mmWave users continue to experience the fastest average mmWave 5G download speed that Opensignal has seen to date. AT&T and T-Mobile mmWave 5G average download speed scores were statistically tied and were under half the average mmWave 5G speed recorded by our Verizon users.

We observed different results in our users’ average mmWave 5G upload speeds. Here, it was our AT&T and T-Mobile users who experienced the fastest average 5G upload speeds using mmWave, as the two carriers had statistically tied scores of 35.5 Mbps and 37.8 Mbps, respectively. On the other hand, Verizon’s score of 28.1 Mbps was 20.8%-25.7% slower than its rivals.

Our Verizon mmWave 5G users experienced a higher average time with an active mmWave 5G connection than users on the other U.S. carriers. In this 90 day period under analysis, our Verizon users saw a mean time connected to mmWave 5G of 0.5% compared with the statistically tied scores of 0.3% we observed on both AT&T and T-Mobile.

However, it is unsurprising that all three figures are low because mmWave 5G will only be connected to a smartphone for brief periods when it is needed. The main role for mmWave is to add significant extra capacity in very busy locations — in our previous mmWave analysis we found that in the locations where mmWave 5G was available, mmWave 5G users were able to consume 4.5 times more data compared with 4G, and 2.4 times more than other types of 5G using sub-6 GHz spectrum bands in an identical period of time.