AT&T is assuring customers it’ll get access to this 5G variant of the S10 later this spring, in addition to another 5G smartphone from Samsung later this year which we may only assume now describes either the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 10 or some newer version of the S10 that affirms both mmWave and sub-6 spectrum, as a result of Qualcomm’s new X55 chipset.
The nation of 5G continues to be a mess, as large US telecoms race to one-up another by being the first to deploy hobbled variations of their next-gen networking technology throughout the nation. AT&T now boasts 19 cities using 5G service as of today, but there’s once again a big caveat: there are not any smartphones that may utilize it yet. What’s more, the only available true 5G device, a mobile hotspot it provides of AT&T, can not nevertheless be bought in stores.
So both firms’ 5G strategies are a bit of a marketing disaster at this time, and surely leading to a significant confusion. 5G will arrive together with smartphones carrying suitable 5G modems to support both the standard and deliver those speeds that are promised. But until today, Verizon and AT&T are racing one another to a race’s end just the two firms 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 nevertheless another trick geared toward creating AT&T look like it’s arrived at the future quicker than its corporate rival.
The Verge went to the Illinois metropolis a week to try it out ourselves, and also while the rates were definitely blazing fast, coverage was terribly shoddy. You might also access it with the Motorola Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod. Verizon is relying just and that means you need to be one of its 5G nodes in downtown Chicago to access it. Walk around the corner, or set a hard surface not made of glass between the node and you, and you fall back down to LTE.
But until then, the only device that can access its network is your Netgear Nighthawk 5G hotspot. The gadget is currently only available to choose business partners and some customers in its 5G markets, but not in stores. Also, but even if you did need be selected and buy it without going through the evaluation program, that requires you sign up of AT&T, it might cost $500. The Qualcomm X50 processor, which means it supports the short-range, mmWave 5G on AT&T’s network is contained by the hotspot. Presumably, later this season, AT&T intends to launch an hotspot, said to encourage both with policy. (The X50 hardware supports both the mmWave and sub-6 right now, but maybe not on AT&T’s network architecture since it is designed today.)
AT&T is far from alone. Verizon might have the business 5G handset but the company’s 5G deployment 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 this service in”select regions” of Chicago and Minneapolis.
The only two 5G smartphones that will be made available to US clients so far this season will be the Verizon-exclusive Samsung Galaxy S10, which doesn’t have a firm release date, and the Verizon- and Sprint-exclusive LG V50. (Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is assumed to come in a 5G variant as well, but there’s no carrier statement for this yet.) That has not stopped AT&T from utilizing this meaningless and arbitrary milestone as an advertising opportunity. “There are currently 19 cities across the nation where AT&T is the only carrier to offer mobile 5G service to businesses and consumers, well ahead of their competition,” the company’s press release reads.