AT&T opens 5G network to consumers in 10 cities


AT&T logo
AT&T just began offering low-band 5G to consumers.
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

Starting today, AT&T consumers in 10 cities can connect to this telecom’s 5G network. While faster than 4G, this is low-band 5G, a slower form though with greater range than mmWave.

At this time, only one handset supports this service.

AT&T 5G rollout proceeds

Earlier this year, AT&T began offering 5G service to businesses. Today, some lucky consumers can begin taking advantage of this speedier replacement for 4G.

“We were the first in the U.S. to offer commercial mobile 5G, and this is the next step as we build to nationwide service in the first half of 2020,” said Scott Mair, President of AT&T Technology Operations.

While the company has wide plans, today this faster service is available in limited areas. It debuted in Birmingham, Ala.; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Pittsburgh; Providence, R.I.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Diego; San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. (Tap on any of those links for a coverage map.)

Ten cities AT&T just launched low-band 5G.
Congratulations if you live in one of the ten cities AT&T just launched low-band 5G.
Photo: AT&T

The telecom promises service in Boston; Bridgeport, Conn.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Las Vegas; Louisville, Ky.; New York City; and other markets soon.

Speaking of limitations, the only way to access this telecom’s nascent network is with the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G. Of course, many more options are expected next year, including a 5G iPhone.

The carrier isn’t charging extra for this service. Consumers need to subscribe to one of its top-tier plans though, either Unlimited Extra ($75 a month) or Unlimited Elite ($85 a month).

5G vs. 5G+

The network AT&T is deploying now is low-band 5G, which has a range of about 2 miles. This is faster than 4G, but the telecom didn’t make any specific promises about speed.

T-Mobile’s recently launched 5G network is also low band.

5G vs. 5G+
AT&T prepared this handy comparison for 5G vs. 5G+.
Photo: AT&T

And there’s an even faster version, which AT&T dubbed 5G+. This uses millimeter wave frequencies (typically referred to as mmWave). This enables the quickest transfers, but is also short range — about 1000 feet. As it stands now, 5G+ is available only to AT&T business customers.

Source: AT&T