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Today marks a major milestone in the telecom industry’s transition from 4G to 5G. For the first time in the United States, AT&T has brought a wireless network online for consumers that actually uses 5G technology.

The service will be available to consumers from Friday, but already live today. The launch will take place in twelve major American cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh and San Antonio and Waco. As devices are not yet able to run on their own on the networks, users have to go deep into their pockets to be able to rely on the 5G technology.

Connecting to 5G

AT&T sells the NetGear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot for $499. This allows smartphones and tablets to connect to the 5G infrastructure to log in again. Only in the course of 2019 will the first mobile devices that support 5G be introduced on the market. Samsung wants to come up with a smartphone as early as next year.

The first flagship phones that support 5G will be delivered with the Qualcomm QTM052 mobile antenna module. This is currently the only product on the market capable of processing signals on the millimetre spectrum. As this is the frequency required for 5G connections, suppliers currently have to opt for the Qualcomm modem. For this reason, Apple seems to be waiting a year for the launch of a 5G iPhone; it prefers to install an Intel modem that is expected to be launched in 2020.

It is expected that 5G networks will eventually allow speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second. In contrast to The Verge, AT&T states that the newly launched 5G network allows a theoretical maximum speed of 1.2 gigabits per second. The actual speed will be lower, according to a company spokesman.

First time

According to AT&T CTo Andre Fuetsch, this is the first time that consumers can experience what the mobile 5G era will bring. You can expect us to evolve quickly. It’s still early on the 5G trip and we’re ready to learn quickly and constantly improve our network in the coming months.

For a 5G subscription with 15 gigabytes of data, consumers pay $70 per month. It is also planned that there will soon be 5G networks in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.