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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  • Kepe - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Your point can be countered by saying "Finland also develops technologies and products, and Finland gets them first in the world." Of course when someone invents something new and starts making just a few products, they tend to sell them locally before expanding the business. Things like heart rate monitors, studded tires and safety reflectors are Finnish inventions that were available over here first, before spreading to other countries. Linux, SMS messages and internet browsers that support graphics instead of being text-only are also Finnish things. So yeah. The US isn't the only place in the world developing new tech.

    Anyways, this is all completely off-topic. This is about mobile phone/data plans. In the US, those suck big time. They are expensive and have ridiculous data caps. And Ajit Pai as the head of FCC isn't helping at all.
  • bji - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Your points may be valid; but Linux definitely was not exclusively Finnish in any way in terms of its availability. The first release was immediately disseminated on the internet and thus probably more readily available in places with good internet connectivity (at the time almost certainly better in the USA than Finland). But it's a minor point. I concede that your argument overall is sound.
  • Kepe - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    That's why I mentioned Linux and SMS in a different sentence after the ones that were more regional. Also, compared to the US, Finland has had the same amount of internet users per capita since the internet has existed, and even surpassed US in the early 2000's. Source:
  • maxijazz - Sunday, January 6, 2019 - link

    I adore how much of proud you have being Finn.
    Definitely you might were leading cell(phone) adoption due to Nokia. That is long past.
    Linux is just evolution of proprietary Unix. Actually an American came up with idea of open sourcing it.
    Similar SMS and internet browsers. Just evolution.
    Nonetheless Finns have their share of inventions similar to other nations.
  • Mitch89 - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Actually we get the new iPhones first here in Australia, we’re on the day-one launch list and we come first because of the time zones.
  • sorten - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Damn. I don't know how much data I've used in the past month b/c it doesn't matter. I pay a fixed rate for any amount of data.
  • Matt Humrick - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    If it wants to differentiate between 5G bands, AT&T should call its mmWave service "5G" and its sub-6 GHz "5G-"
  • FSWKU - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Coming to Louisville, KY eh? That should be interesting, when I can't even get decent LTE speeds in most of the city. Fastest I've EVER gotten on AT&T was 50/25. Strangely enough, that was in the middle of nowhere outside Jacskon, TN. Never got anywhere even close to the supposed 300mbps peak regardless of where I've been. Barely got ANYTHING in Denver, and Austin was also pretty crap for speeds as well.

    I don't see 5G being much better, especially with AT&T's track record.
  • cmvrgr - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    They should be ashamed. 5G has so much bandwidth and speed that data should be unlimited with 70$.
  • oRAirwolf - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Is this a joke?

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