AT&T to roll out true 5G to consumers in 'weeks'

Posted:
in General Discussion
It's still chiefly a lower-speed version of the technology, but genuine 5G is shortly to reach 'tens of millions' of AT&T customers across the US. True full speed 5G for businesses is also expanding.

iPhone 5G


AT&T is to bring a true 5G service to US consumers, with a program rolling it out nationwide over the next few weeks. Unlike its previous and contentious '5GE,' which proved to be only a renamed regular 4G service, the new one will be low-band 5G. AT&T is launching initially in five cities, and will be promoting it when it begins selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G from December.

"When we introduced the US to 5G last year," said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO, AT&T Consumer, in a statement, "we started with a business-first and experience-based strategy to lay the foundation for innovation to come."

"We're now introducing consumers to the future of wireless with broad 5G service included in our best unlimited plans for 5G devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G," he continued.

Over the next few weeks, AT&T plans to launch this low-band 5G in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Providence (Rhode Island), Rochester (New York), and San Diego.

The company says it has also planned a rollout to many more markets including Boston, Buffalo, San Jose and more, though it has yet to specify a schedule.

AT&T's full-speed service, which the company calls 5G+ and is 5G over the nmmWave spectrum, is currently in parts of 21 cities. The company says speeds in those areas has been increased and that it will be adding the service to parts of a further 9 cities early next year.

Sample 5G tower installed on the outskirts of a residential neighborhood
Sample 5G tower installed on the outskirts of a residential neighborhood


To use the low-band 5G service, users will need a compatible phone -- iPhones are not expected to have 5G until September 2020 -- and to subscribe to specific AT&T packages. The company currently offers its Unlimited Extra or Unlimited Elite plans for $75 and $85 per month respectively.

It says 5G will be added to those plans at no existing cost.

Sprint similarly included 5G on its Unlimited Premium plan when it launched in four cities earlier this year. Verizon is charging a $10 5G premium over its previous 4G price.

AT&T is promoting the use of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G with its service -- similarly to how T-Mobile used the Galaxy S10 5G in June. Then AT&T will begin taking orders for that phone itself on November 25. The phone is expected to launch in the first half of December.

This means that Samsung, in conjunction with the AT&T network, is considerably ahead of Apple in bringing 5G to its users. However, by waiting almost a year longer before launching its 5G iPhones, Apple may sidestep the current confusion between these different low-band and mmWave forms of 5G.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 103
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,030member
    No one has yet adequately explained what 5G on a smartphone brings to the table other than nerds bragging about their download speeds. Phone calls, emails, texting don't need 5G. Most apps don’t need 5G. Who plays multiple character shoot-em-ups on a smartphone where latency counts? One can already stream a 4K movie on 4G LTE just fine, although 4K movies on a smartphone screen is about the most asinine thing I can think of. In my opinion the killer app for 5G will be fixed broadband for homes and business and that appears to be a ways oft yet. And the carriers want $10/mo more for 5G? Are you kidding me!
    edited November 2019 flyingdpgilly33bageljoeydavgregmicrobecaladanianjimh2
  • Reply 2 of 103
    Service sucks in my part of Orange County California. Have had to have a signal booster in our home for years. No move has ever been made to improve coverage. Pardon me if I’m skeptical. 
    flyingdpmicrobellamaSnickersMagoo
  • Reply 3 of 103
    Until I see independent speed tests and coverage maps, providers are just flapping their PR lips.
    flyingdpmicrobeSnickersMagoo
  • Reply 4 of 103
    lkrupp said:
    No one has yet adequately explained what 5G on a smartphone brings to the table other than nerds bragging about their download speeds.
    5G isn’t about the devices we carry in our pockets. It’s about everything else that wants to be connected in our lives. The ability to ditch traditional cable operators for a cellular based internet service in your home, with speeds comparable to the antiquated wired connections. It also gives the ability to cover the underserved areas that traditional ISPs don’t want to develop because of the expense to bring service to that area. Although I am not a fan of autonomous cars, it will help with the progress for self driving vehicles as well. That’s just the tip of the Iceberg. 
    pscooter63GeorgeBMaccaladanianllamaapplesnoranges
  • Reply 5 of 103
    big kcbig kc Posts: 137member
    "It says 5G will be added to those plans at no existing cost." What's that supposed to mean, no "existing" cost? Meaning that there will be a "new" cost for adding 5G? And what's with the marketing double-speak with 5G+? You'd think they would have learned their lesson with the 5Ge fiasco. AT&T can bite me, I left after 20+ years and jumped to T-Mo 2 years ago, and haven't regretted it one bit.. while saving a ton of cash.
    microbecaladanian
  • Reply 6 of 103
    mobirdmobird Posts: 707member
    This is what shows up in parts of the Memphis area and has since late spring of this year... ;)
    sergioz
  • Reply 7 of 103
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,679member
    lkrupp said:
    No one has yet adequately explained what 5G on a smartphone brings to the table other than nerds bragging about their download speeds. Phone calls, emails, texting don't need 5G. Most apps don’t need 5G. Who plays multiple character shoot-em-ups on a smartphone where latency counts? One can already stream a 4K movie on 4G LTE just fine, although 4K movies on a smartphone screen is about the most asinine thing I can think of. In my opinion the killer app for 5G will be fixed broadband for homes and business and that appears to be a ways oft yet. And the carriers want $10/mo more for 5G? Are you kidding me!
    That is the billion dollar question.

    From all the reading I've done 5G gives: 
    • Faster speeds - dubious value for smartphones, as you mentioned
    • decreased latency  - again, dubious value for smartphones; maybe flying high performance drones with your smart phone, but that is a niche market at best. God help my patient if I'm doing robotic surgery on my iPhone.
    • increased number of connections - This might make a difference for highly congested areas such as stadiums, etc. Most people talk about allowing 'connected cars' for smart traffic management and similar uses which doesn't involve your phone. It's also not clear to me if you actually need a 5G phone to be one of these increased number of connections
    I've seen some people talk about the ability to use your phone as a smart pass for the train system or tollway or allowing hyper-precise geolocation. Again, the actual need and application for these uses is questionable.

    Another question that I haven't seen an answer to is how 5G will affect 4G service. 5G allow differing utilization of the spectrum and much of 5G involves upgrades to the network backbone infrastructure (you can't get 10 Gbps speeds if your network maxes out at 2, and latency is ultimately determined by the slowest link.) I can definitely see the 5G infrastructure upgrades improving 4G service.

    The final question is timing. People keep talking about 5G enabling new technologies and uses which will likely be true. The problem is if a use doesn't exist yet, it will take time for the use to develop and then more time for it to become commonplace enough that it even approaches 'essential' status, and many of these new uses will undoubtedly fizzle. That's just the nature of technology.

    Your 4G phone will not instantly become obsolete and stop working and the vast majority of smartphone users really don't need the extra features; there are a whole lot of people who never do anything more than check facebook on their smartphones. The bottom line is the hype far exceeds the reality. Just like it did with 4G. and 3G. 

    gilly33
  • Reply 8 of 103
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,679member
    lkrupp said:
    No one has yet adequately explained what 5G on a smartphone brings to the table other than nerds bragging about their download speeds.
    5G isn’t about the devices we carry in our pockets. It’s about everything else that wants to be connected in our lives. The ability to ditch traditional cable operators for a cellular based internet service in your home, with speeds comparable to the antiquated wired connections. It also gives the ability to cover the underserved areas that traditional ISPs don’t want to develop because of the expense to bring service to that area. Although I am not a fan of autonomous cars, it will help with the progress for self driving vehicles as well. That’s just the tip of the Iceberg. 
    Except those underserved areas are also underserved by the cellular providers, too. :/
    gilly33llama
  • Reply 9 of 103
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,775member
    Even now, I don't get AT&T more than 1 Bar 4G LTE signal for Voice, Data and I live in well developed semi-metro area. So,

    "5G to consumers in weeks" means I will get AT&T true 5G where I live and work? right ? My Foot!!!

    When 5G happens nationwide, it will affect current 4G because until back-end infrastructure is not upgraded for the extra demand of 5G, over all speed/response/experience will still not promised by 5G



    edited November 2019 razorpit
  • Reply 10 of 103
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    lkrupp said:
    No one has yet adequately explained what 5G on a smartphone brings to the table other than nerds bragging about their download speeds. Phone calls, emails, texting don't need 5G. Most apps don’t need 5G. Who plays multiple character shoot-em-ups on a smartphone where latency counts? One can already stream a 4K movie on 4G LTE just fine, although 4K movies on a smartphone screen is about the most asinine thing I can think of. In my opinion the killer app for 5G will be fixed broadband for homes and business and that appears to be a ways oft yet. And the carriers want $10/mo more for 5G? Are you kidding me!
    The same was said when LTE rolled out.   It fostered a revolution in smart phones -- they transitioned from primarily phones to pocket computers in a way that even Steve Jobs didn't predict.  My bet is on technology and the future.

    bonobobchemengin1
  • Reply 11 of 103
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Service sucks in my part of Orange County California. Have had to have a signal booster in our home for years. No move has ever been made to improve coverage. Pardon me if I’m skeptical. 
    True.   If our for-profit telecomms wouldn't give you adequate 4G they probably won't bother with 5G.  But, for the rest of us, it will be great!
    JFC_PA
  • Reply 12 of 103
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    MplsP said:
    lkrupp said:
    No one has yet adequately explained what 5G on a smartphone brings to the table other than nerds bragging about their download speeds.
    5G isn’t about the devices we carry in our pockets. It’s about everything else that wants to be connected in our lives. The ability to ditch traditional cable operators for a cellular based internet service in your home, with speeds comparable to the antiquated wired connections. It also gives the ability to cover the underserved areas that traditional ISPs don’t want to develop because of the expense to bring service to that area. Although I am not a fan of autonomous cars, it will help with the progress for self driving vehicles as well. That’s just the tip of the Iceberg. 
    Except those underserved areas are also underserved by the cellular providers, too. :/
    The only reason those areas even have electricity is because the government stepped in and either installed it or forced electric companies to do so.   But since then we have, for some reason, determined that all government and everything it does is evil.   Hopefully, some day, sanity will return and it will be realized that the profit motive cannot cure all problems. 
    lordjohnwhorfinJFC_PAtokyojimu
  • Reply 13 of 103
    mobird said:
    This is what shows up in parts of the Memphis area and has since late spring of this year... ;)
    5GE, E means EXCUSE me, not there yet, hahaha
    mobirdlordjohnwhorfinGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 14 of 103
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,388member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    mobird said:
    This is what shows up in parts of the Memphis area and has since late spring of this year... ;)
    5GE, E means EXCUSE me, not there yet, hahaha
    That's Faux Five G, not real 5G.

    I suspect real 5G will be almost ready for prime time by consumers at large around the time I need to consider buying a new phone, like in 3-4 years.  
  • Reply 15 of 103
    The promise of having 5G replace our broadband connections everywhere is technically interesting, but thus far no actual company has rolled out anything suitable. Until carriers like AT&T start offering reasonably priced, terabyte-sized plans to go with all this speed, it is not likely to be experienced as anything "new" to consumers. Also, those carriers would have to be prepared to handle the backend traffic that broadband ISPs routinely deal with - is AT&T ready for millions of Netflix streams? Until business models can deliver a genuinely new or less expensive experience to users, this is still just inside baseball.
  • Reply 16 of 103
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,304member
    lkrupp said:
    No one has yet adequately explained what 5G on a smartphone brings to the table other than nerds bragging about their download speeds.
    5G isn’t about the devices we carry in our pockets. It’s about everything else that wants to be connected in our lives. The ability to ditch traditional cable operators for a cellular based internet service in your home, with speeds comparable to the antiquated wired connections. It also gives the ability to cover the underserved areas that traditional ISPs don’t want to develop because of the expense to bring service to that area. Although I am not a fan of autonomous cars, it will help with the progress for self driving vehicles as well. That’s just the tip of the Iceberg. 
    This article is pretty much about 5G cellular service.. It even mentions deals on the current Samsung 5G phone?  I understand what you are saying, but your answer contradicts the article you are commenting on.
    bonobobGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 17 of 103
    yuck9yuck9 Posts: 112member
    lkrupp said:
    No one has yet adequately explained what 5G on a smartphone brings to the table other than nerds bragging about their download speeds. Phone calls, emails, texting don't need 5G. Most apps don’t need 5G. Who plays multiple character shoot-em-ups on a smartphone where latency counts? One can already stream a 4K movie on 4G LTE just fine, although 4K movies on a smartphone screen is about the most asinine thing I can think of. In my opinion the killer app for 5G will be fixed broadband for homes and business and that appears to be a ways oft yet. And the carriers want $10/mo more for 5G? Are you kidding me!
    It will help lots of tech. Self driving cars, Navigation,  GPS, 1st responders to name just a few.

    Great, stay on the slower speed. The less the better for the higher speed one's that want and need it.
    In a few years all cell phones will be 5G.  Try finding a up to 3G phone only. It will be added, you will pay extra for it.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 18 of 103
    Can I just get freaking basic coverage for texting and calling at diamond lake, Oregon? 5G who gives a crap if you can't get ahold of your family when you drive up separately because the wife had to work an extra day. 
    edited November 2019
  • Reply 19 of 103
    mobirdmobird Posts: 707member
    I still use a couple of AT&T Microcells, the white and orange versions. We have one at our home in Pike National Forest in Colorado, elevation approximately 8,000 feet and the other one at our home in the Ozarks in Arkansas. Full bars at the houses where otherwise we would have squat, better than Wi-Fi calling for us.
    No need for 5G for our own current needs (I believe that rural areas of the country would benefit in a big way with 5G deployment however as I understand it.)
  • Reply 20 of 103
    AT&T pulled the same stunt when 4G came around: they only had 3G so they used some extension of 3G tech to get faster speeds and called that 4G (since it delivered speeds in the range promised by 4G). Of course real 4G carriers started crying foul and got LTE to show up as "LTE" on phones to distinguish it from AT&T's phony 4G. Pretty much everywhere else this nonsense did not happen and everybody is used to call LTE by the 4G moniker. So irritating.
    microbecaladanian
Sign In or Register to comment.