When I moved to Billings back in January 2019, at the time I was a Verizon Wireless customer. Having been living in Miles City for most of my life, with a 3-year stint in Baker, Verizon (at the time) was the BEST coverage available in the area. However, once I was settled in here in Billings, I quickly realized my apartment (which was on Lewis and 7th at the time) was in a Verizon dead zone.

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Pants on Fire

Even though Verizon CLAIMED to have perfect coverage, I and anyone visiting my apartment had ZERO coverage standing outside. So, I changed carriers to T-Mobile, bringing the family with me, after realizing their coverage worked everywhere we went. But... was that the BEST choice? Let's discuss this.

Verizon VS T-Mobile VS AT&T

In checking coverage maps for the big 3, there is... no difference for Billings. The ENTIRE city is blanketed, according to these companies, in perfect coverage (5G), as shown below.

Credit: AT&T.com
Credit: AT&T.com
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Credit: T-Mobile.com
Credit: T-Mobile.com
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Credit: Verizon.com
Credit: Verizon.com
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Starting with AT&T, the company claims perfect "5G" coverage across the city. 5G+, which is NOT in Billings, is a faster 5G option according to AT&T, and is in limited locations of specific cities.

Next, T-Mobile, also claims perfect "5G" coverage. Though, as you can see, it is "5G Extended Range" which is exactly as it sounds. Long range, lower speed service.

Finally, Verizon actually shows WORSE coverage around Billings. They also claim perfect "5G" coverage in the city and have the same issue as T-Mobile, not offering their "5G Ultra Wideband" coverage anywhere in town.

5G+, 5G Ultra Wideband, 5G Ultra Capacity... What?

I'll keep it simple. No matter what these companies call it, it's all the same. This version of 5G requires multiple short-range access points, usually placed on street corners, to provide service. Learn more here.

What does this all mean?

Well, I can say one thing for sure. Carrier maps are misleading. How so? Ookla, makers of SpeedTest.net, are a company dedicated to connectivity, and an eagle-eyed person would notice Verizon uses the Ookla map to report coverage. The others do not... and the Verizon maps look to be a bit more realistic. (Hmmm)

For me, I will say T-Mobile has been mostly great for coverage. There are a few spots I can think of where service is spotty (the hill on Grand, next to Senior High... downtown... and King Ave) but for the most part, it works well.

I don't have a solid answer for you, though service is always being upgraded and new towers are added... so pick the best one for you and your budget. Heck, even T-Mobile offers a trial on their network if your phone supports it!

What carrier do you have, and how is your service? Let us know on App Chat or on Facebook!

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