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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  • voicequal - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    You didn't share who your provider is...
  • Kepe - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Telia. I'm in Finland.
  • voicequal - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    You didn't share who your provider is...
  • shabby - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    Laugh it up you European, at least our healthcare is... oh wait nevermind. Americans love taking it up where the sun don't shine.
  • bji - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    There are pros and cons to just about anywhere. Our networking speeds may be slow and expensive, but they do fine for me. I tend to, you know, get out and do stuff more, so I don't really need that much streaming media.

    The USA does get all the tech cheaper and first, so that's a plus.
  • bji - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    By "all the tech" I mean all new technologies, new hardware, etc. Part of the cost of being first to adopt technologies is that sometimes you get stuck with something older once it has established itself as the local standard. But getting the new tech first and cheapest is nice. I can't count the number of times on tech forums that I've heard Europeans lament the cost of hardware that we get much cheaper here, with much more availability, and usually months before they get it over there. Like I said, every place has its pros and cons.
  • Kepe - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    What kind of tech do you mean? Like the affordable OnePlus smartphones that have been officially available here in Finland since the OnePlus One in 2014, and landed in the US in 2018? All major hardware, such as processors and GPUs are released worldwide, thinking USA somehow gets everything first is really weird. Do you really think the rest of the world gets their hardware months after you do in the US? Speaking of technologies...
    First GSM network - Finland
    First 3G network - Japan
    First public 4G network - Norway and Sweden (first fully functional test network - Italy)

    I guess the iPhone is the only piece of tech that is really launched a week or two ahead in the US before coming to other markets. But iPhones aren't even that popular outside of the US anyways. Out of the twenty close relatives and a dozen or two closer friends that I have, one uses an iPhone and even he is switching to Android because iPhones are so ridiculously priced.

    The only reason stuff is less expensive in the US is because of lower taxes. Lower taxes are also the reason you have such ridiculous health-care and non-existant social services. Also, if you look at European prices online, those already include tax, unlike in the US where you need to add your local VAT to all the prices.
  • PEJUman - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Tesla? The Finns do have to thank us for that one.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    I don't think Tesla really is the shining technology beacon it once appeared to be now that a lot of the erratic craziness of the fallen celebrity founder has started to come to light alongside failures to deliver a credible product and financial difficulties. Few people would want to thank anyone for Tesla's rolling fireballs.
  • PEJUman - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Finna bought a lot of Telsas. Also, most tesla don’t catch on fire. How Elon’s brain works, I have no idea. But I know enough about powertrain development to understand that Telsa is an engineering marvel, by virtue of high risk tolerance and crazy investor confidence.

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