The Verge went to the Illinois metropolis a week to try it out ourselves, and while the rates were definitely blazing fast, coverage was terribly shoddy. You can also only access it using the midrange Motorola Moto Z3. Verizon is relying on the short-range spectrum, so you need to be physically one of its 5G nodes in downtown Chicago to get it. Walk round the corner, or put a surface not made from glass between the node and you, and you’ll likely fall back down to LTE.
So both firms’ 5G plans are a small marketing disaster right now, and certainly resulting in a serious confusion. 5G will arrive with smartphones carrying proper 5G modems to support the standard and deliver those high speeds. But until now, one another is racing to a race’s end the two firms care about. Meanwhile, we as customers are stuck using silly ploys like the imposed AT&T 5G E logo that, if you remember, isn’t actually real 5G, but yet another trick geared toward creating AT&T look like it has arrived at the future quicker than its company rival.
AT&T is far from alone in muddying the 5G waters. Verizon might have the business 5G handset as an exclusive for its network, but the 5G installation of the company is far less powerful than AT&T’s. While AT&T first established 5G in 12 cities last year, Verizon only began offering its version of the ceremony in”select areas” of both Chicago and Minneapolis.
The gadget is only available to choose business partners and a few customers in its first 5G markets, but not in stores. Not only that, but if you did want buy it without going through the test program, that requires one register of AT&T and be selected, it might cost $500. The hotspot contains the Qualcomm X50 processor, which means it supports the short-range, mmWave 5G on AT&T’s network. Presumably, AT&T plans to establish an hotspot that is upgraded using the X55 later this season, said both to encourage both with wider coverage. (The X50 hardware supports both the mmWave and sub-6 right now, but not on AT&T’s network architecture since it is designed today.)
(Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is supposed to come in a 5G version as well, but there’s no carrier announcement for this yet.) AT&T hasn’t been stopped by that from using this arbitrary and meaningless milestone as a marketing opportunity. “There are currently 19 cities across the nation where AT&T is the only carrier to offer cellular 5G service to businesses and consumersand well ahead of their competition,” the organization’s press release finds .
AT&T now boasts 19 cities using 5G service as of today, but there is once again a large caveat: there aren’t any smartphones that can use it yet. What’s more, AT&T’s only available apparatus, a mobile hotspot it provides, can not nevertheless be bought in stores.
AT&T is assuring clients it’ll get access to this 5G variant of the S10 after this spring, in addition to another 5G smartphone from Samsung later this season that we may only assume now refers to either the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Notice 10 or some newer version of this S10 that supports both mmWave and sub-6 spectrum, as a result of Qualcomm’s new X55 chipset.