How Much of America is Missing 3G Coverage? Too Much.

We’re all familiar with the carrier maps that are displayed all over commercials and billboards, claiming that one carrier’s network is the best. While these maps might appear to offer total coverage, the FCC recently released a map that shows just how much of the United States is still stuck under 3G speeds and it’s surprisingly large.

As you can see from the image above, there are tons of black splotches all across the Western United States, but those in upstate New York and throughout Kentucky and Ohio are rather startling. The map below is an interactive look at these areas, so you can see close ups of just how much these carriers are failing to provide coverage in certain areas.

The fact that the FCC has a map of this data is interesting, as it could be used to force carriers to stop focusing on large populous areas and instead focus on expanding their networks to provide at least 3G coverage before moving on.

Thanks, Samantha!


  • Anonymous

    Are the black spots an indication of no coverage or just no 4G or All 3G?

  • The black areas are indications of regions that have no access to anything above 3G. They’re all on 2G/EDGE, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Makes sense.

  • Anonymous

    This has been my contention all along. I get so sick of people who were whining “where are the 4G Windows Phone?” when too much of the country is still lacking 3G coverage. If it’s been this difficult to fully deploy 3G, imagine how long it will take to get LTE out there. I live in a Texas border city that only got 3G two years ago (which consists of a single tower that you can’t reach in many areas of the city). We won’t be seeing LTE here for another two years AT THE MINIMUM. So getting a 4G phone would simply be a stupid purchase for us.

  • It’s all part of the marketing ploy to force upgrades. If you know you’re still gonna be on a 3G phone after the upgrade, why not wait for something better and save that precious renewal price for something bigger/better? But they lose money on that so they had to push 4G sooner than later.

    My current phone has 4G and I live in an area with good 4G coverage, but it’s unusable bc of the drain on the battery. I’ve tried to keep it on (even while running Juice Defender to turn all wireless off when the phone was idle), and I still couldn’t make it through a full day before the battery died. The speeds are insanely fast when its on, but the drawbacks are still too high.

  • I’m not so sure this is a good approach. Do we really need 100% of the US covered by 3G? A lot of those swaths of black are national or state wildlife refuge, native american territory, and private property.

    On the other hand, focusing on 4G upgrades will make those of us with 4G devices work better and positively affect more people.