So you want to get some of that super fast, super low latency 5G goodness? AT&T has just announced pricing for their upcoming services to several US cities, and it doesn’t look too great.

The crux of the deal starts with a $500 one-off fee for a Netgear Wireless Hotspot, which is the one we saw at the Qualcomm Tech Summit a couple of weeks ago. This device converts a 5G signal into an 802.11ac/802.11ax wireless hotspot, or can be tethered through a USB 3.1 5 Gbps connection. Inside is a battery, as well as a Snapdragon 855 SoC and X50 modem that will convert the 5G signal. In speaking with the mobile hotspot providers, they expect ‘a full day battery’ with their devices, but Netgear declined to say how big the battery was or hard numbers.

The Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot

On top of the $500 fee is the data plan. To start, AT&T will offer a $70/month data plan for 15 GB (with no annual committment). So despite the promise of 5G being fast, that data cap is going to go quick for anyone that wants to download a few movies. One of the use cases given to us for 5G at the Tech Summit was the ability to pull down a few seasons of a favorite show on Netflix while boarding a plane. If that’s the case, it might only be valid once or twice in a month.

To start, AT&T will only offer the 5G network to select businesses and customers for the first 3 months, before offering it to all customers in the Spring. Initially the service will be available in the following cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Jacksonville, Fla
  • Louisville, KY
  • Oklahoma City
  • New Orleans
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Antonio
  • Waco, TX

The following cities will be enabled through the first half of 2019:

  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Nashville
  • Orlando
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose, CA

The initial offering will make 5G available as a hotspot service only, meaning that users will have to purchase a compatible 5G mobile hotspot for it to work (and only Netgear makes ones that will work with AT&T so far).

No word was given as to the speed of AT&T’s 5G network, however it will be part of its 39 GHz mmWave spectrum. To differentiate between 5G on mmWave and 5G on sub-6 GHz bands, AT&T is using the ‘5G+’ branding for its mmWave technology.  This is going to be a fun exercise in branding.

Source: AT&T

At AT&T's 5G Demos at the Qualcomm Tech Summit, Dec 2018


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  • Mitch89 - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    I’m sorry, but 700GB on any internet service (cellular or otherwise) is not light usage.
  • Kepe - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    If you stream everything you watch on TV, it's easy to use that 700 gigs of data. I've had months with 2 terabytes of traffic on my LTE connection.
  • Kepe - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Streaming three and a half hours of 4K content each day will use up that 700 GB per month.
  • SpaceRanger - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Is that package with or without the KY?
  • Holliday75 - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    It looks like AT&T is trying to re-coup their investment into 5G very quickly. I hope potential customers stay away and give them the silent middle finger.
  • lakedude - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    There must be some mistake. I just read that Verizon 5G might be unlimited for $70/month...
  • puttersonsale - Sunday, December 30, 2018 - link

    No one is talking about the health concerns of 5g.

    Apparently during testing people have come down with cancer and many animals have died around the 5g towers.

    Personally I hope it's not true. However, our health should not be compromised.
  • rawkee - Thursday, January 3, 2019 - link

    Source please?
  • Impulses - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    Hmm, I'm glad in finally getting fiber at home... It didn't seem that economic (not saving anything vs my cable package essentially) but for the same $70 I'll have gigabit speeds and unlimited use. I'm curious to see whether AT&T will even attempt to deploy 5G+ here in Puerto Rico in the near future...

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