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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  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    There's a cost to do business.

    There are plenty of wholesome businesses started, but the wild majority of them fail.

    Those left are those that think "a business exists to make money".
  • digiguy - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    except that when you get the price wrong, like here, you are bound to fail (or readjust before competition does)
  • Mikewind Dale - Saturday, December 29, 2018 - link

    What makes you think the price is "wrong"? New products are always expensive. That's just how it is. Remember the first cell phones? The Motorola DynaTAC cost $3,995 in 1983, which is $9,975.58 today (adjusted for inflation). And its battery could manage only 60 minutes of talk. I'm glad you're not in charge of marketing or development. Because if you were, you'd have told us that cell phones are just too expensive to be useful, and you'd have killed the whole industry.
  • Santoval - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Business *do* exist to make money, however they can only make money if they do not price their products or services more than their targeted customers can afford. AT&T is not going to make any money witch such insane prices and so low data caps.

    Even those who can afford such "plan" are not so stupid (well, except the morons who well get this just to brag "I have 5G bitches!", of course). So they are testing the waters of what the market can afford. This is why they are not forcing annual commitments yet.

    Anyone who will commit to 5G within the first 6 to 12 months of its deployment, wherever he might reside, will seriously need to have his head checked. The first generation of phones with 5G will also have the drawback of much smaller batteries along with a higher power draw due to the external 5G chip and multiple active 5G antennas (more power - less space for the battery), so on top of all else they will have a severely reduced battery life.
  • Mikewind Dale - Saturday, December 29, 2018 - link

    So who do you think should be in charge of a business? People who think the business is a charity that should give stuff away for free?
  • Cellar Door - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    15GB for $70 - who are they targeting with this scam???
  • shabby - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Plenty of fools with money out there.
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    inbred 1%-ers. who else?
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    There isn't any evidence to support the idea that the top 1% have problems with inbreeding. I'd argue that most of the 1% represents a segment of the population that has higher education and maybe favorable conditions in childhood versus the remaining 99%, but the breeding thing just seems like an unhealthy amount of jealous envy.
  • fred666 - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    what so funny is that many people commenting on this web site are part of the 1%.
    You only need to make over $32k USD to be part of the GLOBAL 1%.
    Even if you factor cost of living, at least half of the people in most "first world" countries are part of that 1%.

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