The FCC Has Published a 4G LTE Mobile Coverage Map

Posted on August 6, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile with 9 Comments

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has published a 4G LTE mobile coverage map that shows you what you can really expect from your wireless carrier.

“This map shows where customers can expect to receive 4G LTE broadband service at a minimum user download speed of five megabits per second (5 Mbps) and a user upload speed of one megabit per second (1 Mbps) based on propagation modeling,” the FCC explains. “[It] includes separate layers for each carrier’s broadband and voice coverage. Voice coverage areas represent where customers should expect to make and receive mobile voice calls and send and receive texts over the 4G LTE network, without regard to throughput speed. 4G LTE data service meeting a 5/1 Mbps minimum speed may not be available in areas where only voice coverage is shown on the map.”

You can find the interactive map on the FCC website. To use it, enter an address or just zoom into specific locations. Then, you can toggle the data and voice coverage for AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon Wireless.

The map was created as part of the Commission’s Broadband Data Collection project and it serves as a preview of that work. Today, it represents only a subset of the full set of mobile broadband availability data that will be collected as part of the project, and 3G and 5G data will be added as it becomes available from the carriers. You can learn more about the Broadband Data Collection project from the FCC website.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “The FCC Has Published a 4G LTE Mobile Coverage Map”

  1. jdawgnoonan

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. crunchyfrog

    It's the LTE data that's most revealing. It is nice to have something besides the maps from the carriers themselves.

    • proftheory

      That is likely where they are getting the data.

    • winner

      On another site they explained that the map is just a composite of what the major carriers have provided. So yes, from the carriers themselves.

      The FCC is very busy these days listening to the carriers. Being overworked, the FCC is providing info on your broadband LTE availability based upon their friends the carriers.

      Isn't it great that the FCC protects and looks out for the consumer based upon what the FCC's friends the carriers are telling them?

  3. ajaxbeach

    My neighborhood has terrible Verizon service but this map shows good lte voice and data

    • red.radar

      RF Engineering is a difficult discipline. Perhaps its your device or the system they used to do the measurement was not representative of a typical handset? Even taken with some healthy skeptism I still think it is a good tool for a Rough order approximation for " should I have service. "

    • txag

      It’s quite optimistic about my address, too. Compared to real life.

    • jwpear

      Yes, this map is very generous in what it claims the coverage to be. I just looked up three locations of family member homes that I know VZW's coverage is poor. It claims they're all well covered for both voice and data. This just looks like the usual marketing fluff map we get for the carriers.

      I think they also need to start tracking capacity/scalability in addition to performance. Can the carrier effectively carry the data load of the folks living in the area being served during peak usage? I can visit my grandmother and get 5-7 Mbps down/1 Mbps up during the morning and early afternoon. Attempt to do any internet activity in the evening and you can forget it due to timeouts. When I can get a connection, speeds will test out at <600Kbps down. It's frustrating and absurd. I'm not trying to stream. Just want to browse the internet.

  4. behindmyscreen

    Still not enough resolution.