AT&T’s Low-band 5G Network Officially Launches

AT&T’s 5G network has arrived just in time as the company starts selling the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G for $1,300. Since AT&T’s main focus right now is low band 5G, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G will not work for high band 5G as it will not support mmWave technology. Last month, AT&T announced their launch of the 5G network and said they would release the network to five cities. But, they were able to double that to ten cities: Birmingham, AL; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Pittsburgh, PA; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; and San Jose, CA. AT&T will only be offering low band 5G service to its customers for now as it will allow them to service more customers in the selected cities.

Initially, 5G customers needed to have AT&T’s Unlimited Extra or Unlimited Elite plans to have access to the 5G network. Now, they will offer the service free of charge for customers with these plans. AT&T Unlimited Extra is $75 per month for a single line or $40 per line for four lines. This plan provides you with a 50GB pool of high-speed data and after you reach your limit, AT&T will bring you down to 15GB of LTE. AT&T Unlimited Elite starts at $85 per month for a single line and $50 per line. This plan offers a 100GB cap before AT&T decreases the data to 30GB. AT&T tells customers that using the 5G data will count toward the data cap despite having unlimited plans. When you look at your phone, you may see a 5G network in the left-hand corner but that doesn’t mean it’s actually 5G. Here are the three different brands AT&T offers for 5G.  

5GE — Not 5G, just upgraded LTE

5G — actual 5G, but low band 850MHz. The signal travels further but it is slower than high band.

5G+ — actual 5G, but high band (mmWave) meaning the signal is faster than low band but it doesn’t travel through buildings well.  

The most recent launch was their low band 5G network and will be the heart of AT&T’s 5G coverage because it will provide more people with coverage. The high band version of 5G+ has been available for about a year in 23 cities. The signal has a hard time passing through walls and buildings, and AT&T isn’t ready to open up the high band connection to the customer as of yet. When they are ready to give customers high band connection, they will mimic what T-Mobile did by combining the coverage the low band connection brings with the localized mmWave spectrum for heavily populated areas. These areas will need extra bandwidth because there will be structures that could prevent the signal from being passed from the tower to the mobile phone. Although AT&T has only started with a few cities they hope to add more to the list as time goes on. They will need to pick up momentum if they want to remain competitive with T-Mobile, who already has launched 5G network nationwide.  

Article Sourced: The Verge