(NEXSTAR) – Considering signing up for a new phone plan? You may want to check this map first.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created an interactive map that compares coverage from cell providers. We took a closer look at some of the largest companies – AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon – to see which has the best coverage in Las Vegas and around Nevada.
All three companies did pretty well when we compared 4G LTE coverage around Las Vegas. But the maps (below) show Verizon and T-Mobile with larger gaps in coverage around the rest of the state. Both networks cover Vegas and Reno, but show large uncovered areas scattered throughout the state.
AT&T, on the other hand, has much smaller gaps in coverage, as shown on the maps. The only large swath of the state that’s uncovered is around the Black Rock Desert, the famously remote area where the Burning Man festival takes place.
When it comes to the fastest 5G coverage the FCC tracks (5G-NR, 35/3 Mbps), the coverage across all the networks is much spottier.
Verizon appears to have the worst 5G coverage in the state, with only Reno, Elko and Las Vegas able to access the network’s fastest data option.
T-Mobile’s 5G coverage is better, tracking along the I-80 corridor and spread throughout central Nevada.
AT&T, meanwhile, has large coverage patches around Reno, Elko, Ely and Vegas, but misses pretty much everywhere else.
To compare coverage options in your area, type in your address on the FCC’s interactive map. Then, tap or click the “Mobile Broadband” option in the right rail. A chart will pop up with the cell provider options in your area, with checkmarks next to each if they have 4G or 5G speeds in that area.
You can also zoom in on the map and compare providers’ 5G coverage head-to-head by clicking here to open the map, then toggling the companies’ names on and off in the right rail.
You can compare 4G LTE coverage by clicking here, then zooming in and out on the map.
Looking at the country as a whole, Verizon and AT&T have the most coverage, with 55.05% and 55.11% of the country covered, respectively. Meanwhile, T-Mobile covers 35.3% of the country, according to the FCC.
When it comes to 5G coverage nationwide, the tables are turned. T-Mobile’s fast 5G reaches about 12.5% of the country, AT&T’s is at 10.9%, and Verizon’s is at 8.1%.
The FCC map was updated using data collected up to Dec. 31, 2022.
“The coverage areas reflect where consumers should be able to connect to the mobile network when outdoors or in a moving vehicle; they do not show indoor coverage,” an agency spokesperson told Nexstar.
See more about how the map was made and how to use it on the FCC’s website here.