Depending on who you ask, either Verizon or AT&T was the first internet provider in the country to offer 5G. While Verizon was indeed the first to use technologies such as mmWave that are the basis for true 5G technologies, AT&T was the first to deploy something called 5G E, which was just souped-up LTE and more of a marketing ploy than anything else. AT&T has moved away from that (thanks to a lawsuit by Sprint). It is now focusing on true 5G, which is available in a handful of areas.
AT&T will be developing 5G through three “core 5G pillars.” Those pillars include mobile
Here’s everything you need to know about AT&T’s 5G rollout.
AT&T 5G availability: Major U.S. cities
How fast is AT&T 5G right now?
While all the carriers are promising speeds of hundreds of Mbps and Gigabit 5G in the not too distant future,
Why is 5G not such a dramatic improvement? Much of AT&T’s network isn’t true
As we’ve mentioned previously, 5G is now available in 190 metropolitan areas across the country. This particular portion of AT&T’s plans involves its low and mid-band spectrum holdings. Unlike T-Mobile, which is using 600MHz for its low-band
AT&T refers to its mmWave deployments as 5G+. So far, the company has rolled out these services to about three-dozen cities and locales around the country. We’ve listed these in the table below. Please note that this rollout is only for “parts” of the cities listed, so you may not be able to find
|California||Los Angeles, Menlo Park, Oakland, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, West Hollywood|
|Florida||Jacksonville, Miami, Miami Gardens, Orlando|
|Maryland||Baltimore, Ocean City|
|North Carolina||Charlotte, Raleigh|
|New York||New York City|
|Pennsylvania||King of Prussia, Philadelphia|
|Texas||Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco|
5G versus 5G E
As we mentioned before, AT&T found itself in hot water over its decisions to rebrand certain 4G phones as “5G E” phones. The company argues that many technologies deeply linked to the faster 5G networks have already integrated into the company’s existing 4G network.
Even other carriers are up in arms about 5G E. Sprint sued AT&T over the
The reality of it is that 5G E is actually LTE Advanced. And if you’re on this pseudo-
To offer the fastest speeds with the lowest latency, AT&T will initially deploy its 5G network on a millimeter-wave spectrum (mmWave). While mmWave can offer the fastest
Unfortunately, mmWave doesn’t cover a large area and has relatively poor penetration. Over the next several years, AT&T will build out its 5G network around the country with small cells, and deploy service on more hearty spectrum bands. Until the rollout is complete, the service will piggyback off its robust LTE network.
AT&T says most customers are getting speeds of around 400Mbps on the parts of its 5G network already live. The company says it has observed speeds of up to 1.5Gbps — which is very impressive and lives up to what we expect to see from
Along with Verizon, AT&T was supposed to be one of the first carriers to roll out fixed 5G. In late 2018, things changed. The carrier deployed fixed LTE on the Citizens Band Radio Spectrum (CBRS) in 2019, and migrated to
AT&T has the smallest number of 5G-ready phones of any of the carriers. It does carry all the most popular models out right now. Here’s the current list of available devices.
- — $900 ($30/month)
- — $1,000 ($33.33/month)
- — $1,200 ($40/month)
- — $1,300 ($43.34/month)
- — $1,400 ($46.67/month)
Updated on May 27, 2020: Added data from OpenSignal study.
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