AT&T’s 5G network covers about 16% of the U.S., with excellent coverage in New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, and more. AT&T’s 5G network bests Verizon’s by about 5%, given that Verizon’s covers 11% of the country. However, T-Mobile’s 5G network has about 37% coverage, crushing AT&T. If you like AT&T’s service but want to save some money, you should check out Cricket Wireless, an AT&T MVNO that enables 5G access. While AT&T’s 5G network continues to grow, you can rest assured knowing that AT&T’s 4G LTE network has excellent coverage at 68%.

In this AT&T 5G coverage guide:

AT&T 5G coverage map

AT&T’s 5G coverage map can be a bit confusing, so bear with us. Unlike the other majors, T-Mobile (which now includes Sprint) and Verizon, AT&T’s 5G network comprises three different 5G technologies:

  • 5GE (5G Evolution): 5GE is more or less the new name for AT&T’s 4G LTE. It’s widely available and you can expect pretty similar speeds to typical 4G.
  • 5G: This network utilizes a low-band, sub-6 spectrum with widespread coverage but slower speeds than high-frequency 5G spectrums.
  • 5G+: AT&T’s 5G+ network is what people may refer to as “true” 5G, in that it uses the high-frequency, mmWave spectrum and provides the fastest data speeds and lowest latency.

When you look at AT&T’s 5G coverage map below, what you’ll be viewing is AT&T’s low-band 5G network that covers 6% of the U.S. You can expect moderately faster data speeds than you’re used to on 4G LTE but they won’t be lightning-fast like 5G+. Thus far, customers can only connect to AT&T’s 5G+ network in select outdoor hotspot locations in certain cities.

Where does AT&T have the most 5G coverage?

The states with the best AT&T 5G coverage include:

  • Delaware 78.32%
  • New Jersey 77.38%
  • Maryland 67.72%
  • Rhode Island 67.18%
  • Ohio 55.44%

Cities with great AT&T 5G coverage include:

  • Madison, WI
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Columbus, OH
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Tampa, FL
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX

Where does AT&T have the worst 5G coverage?

The following states don’t have any AT&T 5G coverage and just have 5GE (aka 4G LTE):

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont

How fast are AT&T’s 5G speeds?

According to Open Signal, the average 5G speeds for AT&T are about 61Mbps, which is plenty fast for mobile data but is somewhat unimpressive considering 5G’s potential. For comparison, Verizon’s 5G speeds average approximately 495Mbps, which is over eight times faster than AT&T’s. This is to be expected, though, since AT&T’s 5G network currently runs on the low-band technology that offers slower 5G speeds. T-Mobile is in the same boat, offering 5G speeds of around 49Mbps, but at least T-Mobile’s 5G network covers a nice chunk of the country.

5G phones available through AT&T

If you live in an area with good AT&T 5G coverage, you’ll need a 5G-compatible phone in order to connect to AT&T’s 5G network. AT&T carries a nice variety of 5G phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy Note20, Samsung Galaxy A series, iPhone 12, and more. Prices range considerably, so make sure to compare AT&T 5G phones before making a decision. Plus, AT&T frequently offers great phone deals so you can get a sweet discount once you do choose which 5G phone works best for you.

Compare AT&T 5G phone plans

Unfortunately, not every AT&T plan includes 5G access—you’ll need to sign up for an unlimited postpaid plan or the AT&T Unlimited Plus Prepaid Plan to connect to 5G. These 5G plans are relatively expensive, but it may be worth it if you know you get great 5G in your area.

Which AT&T MVNOs offer 5G access?

As of now, the only AT&T MVNO that offers 5G access is Cricket Wireless. In order to connect to AT&T’s 5G network, you’ll need to sign up for the $60 Cricket Unlimited More plan or a Simply Data plan (data-only plans).

Frequently asked questions about AT&T 5G coverage

Is AT&T 5G really 5G?

Yes, but it depends on where you live and which 5G network your phone is connected to. Look on the upper righthand corner of your smartphone screen. If it says 5GE, then you’re on AT&T’s 5G Evolution network, which is essentially a new name for its 4G LTE network. If your device says 5G then you are connected to AT&T’s low-band 5G network and will get faster speeds than 4G LTE. AT&T’s 5G+ network is the fastest 5G network but it’s currently only available as hotspots in certain cities.

What cities have AT&T 5G availability?

AT&T’s 5G network covers over 1,700 cities nationwide, including Sacramento, Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit, Baltimore, and more, and it is expanding every day.

Does AT&T charge for 5G?

AT&T does not charge extra to access 5G for customers on the Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, Unlimited Elite, or Unlimited Plus Prepaid Plan. 5G access is included in the price of these plans.

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Marisa Crane is a content writer and editor with more than 5 years of experience in digital publishing. She is a skilled researcher with an uncanny ability to translate confusing tech jargon into plain English. Outside the world of Let’s Talk and cell phone plans, Marisa is a published creative writer, with her short stories and poetry published in more than 40 literary journals.