AT&T is assuring clients it will get access to the 5G version of the S10 later this spring, as well as another 5G smartphone from Samsung later this year that we can only assume at this time refers to either the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 10 or a newer variant of this S10 that affirms both the mmWave and sub-6 spectrum, thanks to Qualcomm’s new X55 chipset.
The only two 5G smartphones that will be made available to US clients so far this season are the Verizon-exclusive Samsung Galaxy S10, that does not have a firm release date, and the Verizon- and Sprint-exclusive LG V50. (Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is supposed to come in a 5G variant too , but there’s no carrier statement for that yet.) AT&T hasn’t been stopped by that from using this arbitrary and mostly meaningless milestone for an advertising opportunity. “There are now 19 cities throughout the country where AT&T is the only provider to provide mobile 5G support to companies and customers , well ahead of our competition,” the company’s press release finds .
The nation of 5G continues to be a wreck , as big US telecoms race to one-up another by being the first to set up hobbled versions of their next-gen media technology throughout the nation. AT&T currently boasts 19 cities with 5G support as of today, but there is once again a large caveat: there are not any smartphones which can utilize it yet. What’s more, the only accessible authentic 5G apparatus, a mobile hotspot it provides of AT&T, can not nevertheless be bought in shops.
AT&T is far from alone. Verizon might have the first commercial 5G handset but the 5G installation of the company is far less robust than AT&T’s.
So both companies’ 5G plans are a bit of a marketing disaster right now, and certainly leading to a significant confusion. 5G will arrive together with smartphones carrying 5G modems provide those rates that are guaranteed and to support the standard. But until today, AT&T and Verizon are racing one another to the finish line of a race the two companies care about. Meanwhile, we as customers are stuck using silly ploys such as the enforced AT&T 5G E logo which, if you remember, isn’t actually real 5G, but nevertheless another trick aimed at creating AT&T look like it’s arrived at the future faster than its company rival.
You might also only access it with the Motorola Moto Z3. Likewise Verizon is currently relying just on the short-range, mmWave spectrum, and that means you will need to be near one of its 5G nodes in Chicago to get it. Walk around the corner, or set a hard surface not made from glass between you and the node, and you fall back down to LTE.
But until then, the only device that can access its system is the Netgear Nighthawk 5G hotspot. The device is available to a few clients in its early 5G markets and choose business partners, but not in stores. Not only that, but if you did want be chosen and purchase it without going through AT&T’s evaluation program, that requires you sign up, it might cost $500. The Qualcomm X50 chip, which means it only supports the short-range, mmWave 5G on AT&T’s network is contained by the hotspot. Presumably, this season AT&T intends to launch an hotspot that is upgraded using the X55, said to encourage both with coverage. (The X50 hardware supports both mmWave and sub-6 right now, but maybe not on AT&T’s network architecture since it is designed now.)