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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

AT&T today announced that it has launched its first mobile 5G service in parts of 12 cities across the United States, but 5G connectivity won't be available until Friday, when its 5G device launches.

5G connectivity has rolled out in Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Houston, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; New Orleans, Louisiana; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; and Waco, Texas.


In these areas, customers who sign up as early adopters will be able to use the 5G service with a Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot. AT&T's 5G offering provides 5G connectivity speeds using mmWave spectrum, which is faster than LTE.

AT&T plans to start out with a small, limited launch in dense urban areas where mmWave works best, but promises that customers will see enhancements in "coverage, speeds and devices" over time. AT&T president Andre Fuetsch says that the company is "ready to learn fast and continually iterate" in the coming months.

During the first half of 2019, AT&T plans to expand its mobile 5G coverage to parts of additional cities that include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose.

AT&T's Nighthawk Mobile 5G Hotspot plus 5GB of data will be available to "select businesses and consumers" at no cost for at least 90 days. Starting in the spring, customers will be able to get the device for $499 upfront and 15GB of data for $70 per month on a compatible plan.

The first Android smartphones able to take advantage of 5G networks are expected to come out in 2019, but rumors suggest Apple will not adopt support for 5G networks until at least 2020, giving the new technology time to mature.

Along with AT&T, other carriers are embracing 5G technology. Verizon, for example, launched its 5G home broadband service in October, with mobile 5G service to follow.

Article Link: AT&T's First Mobile 5G Service Will Be Available in 12 Cities Starting Friday


macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
So in mid-late 2020 or sometime in 2021 it will have broad enough coverage for most Americans. This is a great place to start but until the 3 major carriers have broad coverage, it's not going to be particularly useful.

More like 2023 for about half of the U.S. population according to Ericsson.
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macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2006
High density areas are also the place where you will probably find lots of other home broadband offers but this is the way new grid tech gets launched. You have to start somewhere.
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macrumors 68040
Oct 11, 2012
Undisclosed location
They have so little time to push this out before shutting down their 3G network in August 2021...
Verizon on the other hand is planning on shutting down their 2G network in 2022.
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macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2004
Can't wait for the iPhone to have 5g! Thanks Tim Cook! 2020 can't come any sooner...


macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2007
LOL AT&T. I get one (one!) bar of service in my neighborhood, on their LTE network. 5 miles up the road in the middle of a shopping center, there is a huge dead zone where I actually get 2 bars but data does not work at all. These issues have been reproduced consistently across 3 different iPhones and 2 Android phones over the past 5 years. Mind you this is in a major growth area in my state that is not far from other major cities. Complaining to them does no good, they do not care to fix their network. But they do seem to care about pushing into the next generation. This kind of behavior is disgusting. The only reason I still have AT&T cellular is because it gives me a bundle discount on my AT&T Fiber internet. Which blows my mind even more that they can install an amazing fiber network in my area but getting a cellular connection that’s worth a **** is nigh impossible.


macrumors 6502
May 14, 2007
Northern Virginia
I would rather have full coverage at 4G LTE (or heck, even "regular" 4G) EVERYWHERE than blazingly fast speeds in urban areas. It drives me nuts that US cell companies use this tactic of painting themselves as technological innovators while refusing to advance their current technology to a level of consistent performance, no matter the location. Unfortunately, we consumers have no alternative to the juggernauts that are these corporations, and until a new act comes to town, we're going to continue this exhausting, frustrating cycle.


macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
Here's a fantastic dive into what 5G means for phones in 2019. The millimeter wave tech that provides the 5G speeds will get blocked by rain etc. and is a much shorter range than 4G and it doesn't penetrate structures - probably only see true 5G (millimeter wave) in big cities. In the mean time 4G will keep getting better (and that's what you want on your phone).

This is from the Android specialist on Ars Technica - his view is in the title of the article. The pictures showing what's required to go from 4G to 5G in the 1st Gen smartphones hardware and its implications for cost and reduced space for batteries is amazing.
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