Americas AT&T has announced that it will be powering on its 5G network come December 21 (this Friday). According to AT&T, the 5G network, will be available in 12 cities across the US. The first batch of cities includes, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, San Antonio and Waco, Texas. The first device to use the network is a Netgear-made Nighthawk 5G hotspot.
Currently in trial phase, the company is in talk with business and offering both its hotspot and data for free. After this, the hotspot will go for $499 and the first data plan will offer 15GB for $70 a month. For now, the program is voluntary and won’t require you to sign any contract or an annual commitment to participate.
The company is in the process of building out two mobile 5G networks that will work together, technologies known as millimeter wave (or “mmWave”) and sub-6 GHz. The one being launched this week is the mmWave network, which can deliver high bandwidth in crowded urban areas (but has limited coverage). The sub-6GHz network is for a better coverage, slower speed (still faster than LTE, though). This network will launch next year.
AT&T’s first 5G devices from Samsung expected to arrive early next year, won’t support both network types. The second phone from Samsung, expected in the second half of the year, will, however, work with both 5G technologies. The company is also marketing its latest improvements to its nationwide 4G LTE network as “5G Evolution” and its mmWave 5G network as 5G+. The new Netgear hotspot will support AT&T’s 4G LTE and 5G Evolution networks in addition to the 5G+ network.