AT&T is assuring customers it will get access to this 5G variant of the S10 later this spring, in addition to another 5G smartphone from Samsung later this year that we can only assume now describes either the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 10 or a newer version of this S10 that affirms both the mmWave and sub-6 spectrum, thanks to Qualcomm’s new X55 chipset.
The gadget is currently available to choose business partners and some customers in its first 5G markets, but not in stores. Not only that, but if you like a normal customer did need buy it without going via AT&T’s evaluation program, which requires you sign up and be selected, it might cost $500. The Qualcomm X50 chip, which means it only supports the mmWave 5G on AT&T’s network is contained by the hotspot. Presumably, AT&T plans to launch an hotspot that is updated with the X55 this season, said to encourage both with policy that is broader. (The X50 hardware supports both the mmWave and sub-6 at the moment, but not on AT&T’s network architecture as it is designed now.)
The Verge went to the Illinois metropolis a week to try it out ourselves, and while the speeds were definitely blazing fast, coverage was terribly shoddy. You can also access it with the midrange Motorola Moto Z3. Similarly, Verizon is currently relying on the mmWave spectrum, and that means you need to be physically one of its 5G nodes in Chicago to access it. Walk round the corner, or put a hard surface not made from glass between you and the node, and you will likely fall back down to LTE.
So both companies’ 5G strategies are a bit of a marketing disaster right now, and certainly leading to a significant confusion. 5G will arrive at a certain point within the next few years, together with smartphones carrying 5G modems provide those rates and to support both the standard. But until now, Verizon and AT&T are racing one another to the end of a race only the two companies care about. In the meantime, we as clients are stuck using silly ploys such as the imposed AT&T 5G E logo which, if you recall, is not really real 5G, but yet another trick geared toward creating AT&T look like it has arrived in the future quicker than its corporate rival.
(Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is assumed to emerge in a 5G variant too , but there’s no carrier announcement for this yet.) AT&T hasn’t been stopped by that from using this random and largely meaningless milestone as an advertising opportunity. “There are now 19 cities throughout the nation where AT&T is the only provider to offer mobile 5G service to companies and customers , well ahead of our competition,” that the company’s press release reads.
AT&T is far from alone. Verizon may have the first 5G handset as an exclusive to its network, but the company’s 5G installation is much less robust than AT&T’s. While AT&T first established 5G in 12 cities late last year, Verizon only started offering its version of the service in”select areas” of Chicago and Minneapolis.
The nation of 5G is still a wreck , as large US telecoms race to one-up another by being the first to set up hobbled variations of the next-gen networking technology across the nation. AT&T currently boasts 19 cities with 5G support as of today, but there’s once again a large caveat: there aren’t any smartphones which can utilize it yet. Furthermore, a mobile hotspot it supplies, AT&T’s only available device, can’t nevertheless be purchased in shops.