So you want to get some of that super fast, super low latency 5G goodness? AT&T has just announced pricing for their upcoming services to several US cities, and it doesn’t look too great.

The crux of the deal starts with a $500 one-off fee for a Netgear Wireless Hotspot, which is the one we saw at the Qualcomm Tech Summit a couple of weeks ago. This device converts a 5G signal into an 802.11ac/802.11ax wireless hotspot, or can be tethered through a USB 3.1 5 Gbps connection. Inside is a battery, as well as a Snapdragon 855 SoC and X50 modem that will convert the 5G signal. In speaking with the mobile hotspot providers, they expect ‘a full day battery’ with their devices, but Netgear declined to say how big the battery was or hard numbers.

The Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot

On top of the $500 fee is the data plan. To start, AT&T will offer a $70/month data plan for 15 GB (with no annual committment). So despite the promise of 5G being fast, that data cap is going to go quick for anyone that wants to download a few movies. One of the use cases given to us for 5G at the Tech Summit was the ability to pull down a few seasons of a favorite show on Netflix while boarding a plane. If that’s the case, it might only be valid once or twice in a month.

To start, AT&T will only offer the 5G network to select businesses and customers for the first 3 months, before offering it to all customers in the Spring. Initially the service will be available in the following cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Jacksonville, Fla
  • Louisville, KY
  • Oklahoma City
  • New Orleans
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Antonio
  • Waco, TX

The following cities will be enabled through the first half of 2019:

  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Nashville
  • Orlando
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose, CA

The initial offering will make 5G available as a hotspot service only, meaning that users will have to purchase a compatible 5G mobile hotspot for it to work (and only Netgear makes ones that will work with AT&T so far).

No word was given as to the speed of AT&T’s 5G network, however it will be part of its 39 GHz mmWave spectrum. To differentiate between 5G on mmWave and 5G on sub-6 GHz bands, AT&T is using the ‘5G+’ branding for its mmWave technology.  This is going to be a fun exercise in branding.

Source: AT&T

At AT&T's 5G Demos at the Qualcomm Tech Summit, Dec 2018


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  • bji - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    They are very popular here in Silicon Valley and everyone I see who has one is immensely happy with it. I suspect you are just blowing hot air.
  • bji - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Mobile phones were first available in the USA. The Internet as a consumer 'product' pretty much started in the USA. Electric cars ala Tesla. VR. 3D Printing. Nearly every model of computer was first available in the USA. The graphical desktop for example was first done here with the first Mac, which was first available in the USA. The first true smart phones (i.e. iPhone 1) was available first here. The Atari game console and other early game consoles were first available here. Social media web sites (for what they're worth) were first available here - i.e. Facebook, twitter, whatever. Streaming media like Netflix and Amazon first available here. Probably 3d movies were first done here, although I can't verify that, but it does seem like something Hollywood would try first. Those are all things that I just thought up off the top of my head, I could go on and on and on and on but I think you get the idea. Most tech is invented here or first productized here. Not all, but most.

    All you are talking about is refinements to mobile phone technology. Those are just iterations on an idea (high speed mobile networks, or smartphones with better specs than the last generation), not new ideas. But like I said, not *all* tech happens here first. Just most. And almost all tech is cheaper here, certainly hardware based tech.
  • bji - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    I agree that lower taxes is part of the reason for the lower total cost of buying goods here; but it's not the entire reason. The USA is a very large market and companies compete to stay in it.
  • Kepe - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Ok, let's do a test. I have no idea how much an i9 9900K costs in the US. I'm not even sure how much it costs here. I'll go find out and report back here.
  • Kepe - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    On Newegg, an i9 9900K costs 550 USD + tax
    On Jimm's, one of the most popular PC part retailers here, it's 599 € including our 24% VAT.
    Now let's switch that to dollars and remove the VAT. So it's 684 USD in Finland. 684 USD / 1,24 = 551,6 USD. So without tax, an i9 9900K costs a whopping 1,6 dollars, or 0,3 % more over here. Where is that price advantage of the US you were talking about? It's all just tax.

    Both shops were chosen by whatever came to my mind at first. The i9 9900K seems to be selling for 549 € in some shops in Finland, which, when taxes are removed from the price, is 505,6 USD. For comparison, the cheapest 9900K I can find in the US is 539 USD. So when taxes aren't taken into account, a 9900K is cheaper in Finland. Where is your lower pricing?
  • bji - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    My point is that new technologies typically are available here first. Often times they are niche before they catch on, but if you want early access to new tech, if there is anywhere that you will see it first, it is here. When whole tech categories (i.e. VR, 3d printing, game consoles, etc) first are invented and productized, the first market that they are sold into is generally the USA. It's just a fact. Like I said above, every country has its plusses and minuses. I was simply using new tech to demonstrate that idea. My point was a counterpoint to the original poster bragging about how great and cheap mobile networks are in his European country. And the counterpoint is valid.
  • sseyler - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Yeah, but you didn't really do enough to acknowledge that your original point wasn't articulated clearly. You'd do well to be less attached to your original point and concede it to the Finn, especially since the original argument you made was wrong—at least until you clarified that you meant "whole classes of technology". And, frankly, your "corrected" point about these entire technologies is a much weaker point, given that there isn't much benefit to having access to expensive, immature technologies whose kinks haven't been worked out yet and whose prices restrict accessibility to a very limited number of businesses/people. The counterpoint is valid, but weaksauce.
  • bji - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    I work at a company that created some of the first DVRs. Yes, it's not exactly new technology now, but it was 15 years ago, and it was available here well before anywhere else.

    I am not going to go out and do a comprehensive survey of every product category and where it was available first, and I'm pretty sure you aren't either, so neither of us is really going to be able to conclusively argue the point ... but I am comfortable in my conclusion that historically most new technologies have been first available in the USA.
  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    In the past, a lot of tech appeared in the US (and Japan?) first, but thanks to globlization, nowadays pretty much every new gadget is released simultaneously everywhere. "Revolutionary" new tech might still first appear where it was developed, but evolutionary tech no.

    It's true that most tech is developed in the US or Japan/SKorea, but to really simplify things, I'd say its because those places are better for business while Europe in comparison is better for "people".
  • bji - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    HDTV came first to Japan. That's one I can think of. Also some of the early, but not the earliest, game consoles. And lots of weird stuff like arcade games that simulate S&M and other odd things.

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