As most major cell phone carriers continue to expand their 5G coverage to more and more areas, you may be wondering if 5G is available in your area. Whether you live within the United States or abroad, here’s how you can check whether 5G coverage is available in your area and, if not, when it might arrive.
The Status Of 5G Coverage
5G is the newest cell phone technology, and it’s quickly spreading around the globe. While rollouts have been slow over the past couple years, most sources estimate that 5G will be the standard worldwide by 2025. So far, large portions of North and South America, Australia, Asia, and much of western Europe have access to 5G coverage.
However, even in parts of the United States, 5G coverage is still hit or miss if you don’t live in a major city. Therefore, it’s important to check 5G compatibility in your area before committing yourself to the newest 5G phone.
Checking Worldwide Availability
5G is becoming available in more areas across every continent. No matter where you live, you can check 5G availability using one of these two methods:
The Ookla 5G Map is one of the best ways to check for 5G availability anywhere in the world. Ookla’s interactive map is updated weekly and provides information on locations that already have commercial availability, places with limited availability, and areas where coverage will be rolled out soon.
When you pull up the map, you can zoom in on a specific location to check the 5G availability. Then, if you click on a city with coverage, you can see which cell phone providers offer 5G coverage in that location. Although it doesn’t show the signal strength for each individual city, it’s a quick way to find out whether your city offers 5G.
If you’re looking for another way to check 5G availability on a global scale, the Opensignal app (Android | iOS) is a great option. This resource offers independent cell phone coverage maps for over 35 countries based on data crowdsourced from individuals across the world.
When you download the app, you will have access to a map based in your local area. You can view coverage based on the carrier and the type of coverage (3G, 4G, or 5G). Furthermore, you can check network stats to see download and upload speeds, latency, and signal strength for any carrier that offers coverage in your area.
If you want to check the reception in another area, you can just adjust the focus area of the map to see stats and available coverage in that area.
Checking 5G Coverage within the United States
Although both Ookla and Opensignal will show 5G coverage within the United States, they don’t always provide the best picture of how strong the coverage is for individual U.S. cities. Luckily, there are other ways to check specifically for 5G availability in the U.S.
1. Cellular Maps
For more in-depth coverage maps for the United States, you can try Cellular Maps. It provides full maps of 5G coverage for the entire U.S., broken down by each of the major cell phone carriers.
Once you open Cellular Maps, you can scroll to find your cell carrier (or the cell carrier that services your MVNO provider). From there, you can look at the broad map of the United States or view more in-depth maps for major urban areas throughout the country.
2. Individual Provider Maps
Although Cellular Maps does provide coverage maps for all the major cell phone networks in the United States, sometimes information changes quickly. Therefore, if you want the most up-to-date information about 5G coverage in your U.S. city, it may make more sense to view the individual maps provided on each company’s website.
5G Coverage For Cell Phone Companies within the United States:
- AT&T has a 5G coverage map and a place to check 5G coverage based on your address.
- T-Mobile has a 5G coverage map that also allows you to search based on location.
- Verizon offers a general coverage map for the United States that includes info on where 5G is currently launched.
Since most other carriers, including all MVNOs, use towers from one of these providers, this is the best way to check 5G availability in your area.
5G Coverage within the United Kingdom
If you live within the United Kingdom, you may wonder when and if 5G coverage is coming to you. Luckily, you can use the 5G comparison site 5G.co.uk to check 5G options in your area.
To check, simply enter your postal code to see who’s rolling out 5G in your area. If a provider offers 5G in your area already, you can click the “exact coverage” button to see where the hotspots are.
If a company isn’t yet offering 5G in your area, you can click “check coverage” to see where they have coverage currently and when they plan to offer 5G closer to you.
5G Coverage within Australia
Those Down Under can use Whistleout’s 5G Progress Tracker. This website has individual heatmaps for the providers and the cities where they’re currently offering 5G coverage.
To access, you can simply scroll down to the first map, click the “Click to Activate Interactive Map” button, then select the carrier from the drop-down menu. You can also view 4G and 3G coverage with these maps, should you desire.
5G Is Available In My Area – Now What?
Although it’s nice to know which carriers are offering 5G in your area, that’s only the first of many step you’ll need to take if you want to enjoy the benefits of 5G coverage. Unfortunately, most older phones do not support 5G, so you will need to check your device’s compatibility to see if it will connect to 5G. If not, you’ll need to get a 5G phone.
Furthermore, many cell phone providers are issuing new SIM cards for 5G, so you will have to check with your carrier to see whether you need a new SIM card before you can enjoy 5G data speeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is it taking so long to get 5G in my area?
Unfortunately, 5G is much more complex than any of the previous generations of mobile networking. This means more equipment is needed in more areas, and it takes time to build the infrastructure to support 5G.
2. I see 5G is in my area, so why is my phone using 4G?
There could be several reasons why your phone is using 4G even in an area where 5G is available. Your phone may not support 5G, or you may be in an area with limited 5G coverage. Also, if you are using an MVNO carrier, it will sometimes boot you off of 5G during peak times.
3. Will 5G ever be available in rural areas?
5G coverage requires more equipment, as the signal doesn’t travel as far, so it’s harder to provide 5G in highly rural areas. With that being said, companies are working to make at least some 5G available to rural areas.
Image credit: Pexels
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