(NEXSTAR) – Considering changing your wireless carrier to get better service? You may want to check this map first.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created an interactive map comparing coverage from cell providers. We took a closer look at the coverage in South Dakota from the three largest companies, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
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.
If we focus on South Dakota and the areas around it in particular, the coverage looks relatively the same, as you can see in the maps below.
AT&T and Verizon cover the entire state, as well as most of those around us. AT&T has some gaps in Montana, Minnesota, and Nebraska, while Verizon has some gaps in Montana, Minnesota, and Wyoming, according to the FCC.
T-Mobile’s coverage is more scarce in the western portion of South Dakota, as well as many portions of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, and much of Nebraska.
When it comes to the fastest 5G coverage the FCC tracks (5G-NR, 35/3 Mbps), the tables are turned a little.
Nationally, 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%.
In South Dakota, the maps are much spottier for T-Mobile and Verizon.
AT&T has the best coverage, with narrow gaps in the northern portion of the state, stretching into North Dakota, as well as Minnesota. There are larger gaps in Montana and Wyoming, while Nebraska and Iowa are left almost entirely uncovered.
Only a few portions of the region are covered by Verizon’s fastest 5G, including Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, and a region from Wall to Kadoka, north of Badlands National Park. Coverage is relatively limited to more populated areas in neighboring states, like Des Moines, Fargo, Minneapolis, and Cheyenne.
T-Mobile’s fast 5G is spotty across the region, but less so than Verizon’s. The largest gaps are in northern Nebraska, the northwestern corner of South Dakota, and portions of Wyoming and Montana.
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, and then zooming in and out on the map.
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.
The FCC also maintains data on which internet providers have the fastest service in your area. We recently reviewed the options for Sioux Falls – you can check it out here.