Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, world: How to view 5G networks where you live

Faster data speeds are coming to your phone, and some are already here. You can track 5G progress in your 'hood.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read

Verizon and Sprint's 5G networks are already a go.

Graphic by Lynn La/CNET

5G is the next big thing for your phone, promising 2x to 10x faster download speeds -- so as the technology begins to roll out on carriers across the world, it's little wonder that you might want to tracking it. A 5G coverage map from Ookla, maker of the popular Speedtest.net app, provides a detailed look at which 5G networks are live in a given place from a given network, and whether that coverage is commercially available or limited. 

In the US, Verizon and Sprint have thrown down in a pitched 5G battle over peak data speeds and wider coverage areas, and AT&T has a network for hotspots (which we haven't been able to test). Meanwhile, South Korea, England and Switzerland have also launched 5G. China is distributing licenses, Japan is building out its towers, and beleaguered Huawei will provide 5G equipment for Russia's largest operator.

The race for 5G may not mean much to you until it's live on your phone, but it's of vital importance to networks and countries. 5G represents the future of business, economic growth and innovation, because it's about far more than data speeds alone. 5G spectrum will make possible everything from self-driving cars that talk to each other on the road to digital surgery and crystal clear real-time gaming and video calls. 


Ookla's new 5G coverage map.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

To track 5G with Ookla's map:

1: Navigate to www.speedtest.net/ookla-5g-map from any browser.
2: Drag the map to find the country you're interested in.
3: Click the bubble to see how many areas have 5G coverage, and from which network.
4: Use the + control to zoom into the map and click the bubble again for more detailed information, e.g. if there are multiple cities across a country with various active 5G networks. You may find you need to zoom in quite a bit to find specific locations in specific cities.

Watch this: Putting Sprint's 5G to the test on the LG V50

Right now, the map tracks over 300 5G deployments worldwide. Ookla says that it'll update its tracking map weekly using verified public sources (like a carrier announcement) and Ookla's own data, taken from people who use the Speedtest.net app in 5G coverage areas, to keep you relatively up to date.

5G network hounds can also follow the @Ookla5GMap Twitter account for real-time updates to the tracking map.

From Apple to Samsung: 5G phones available right now

See all photos

Originally published May 14.
Update June 10
: Adds more detail.