At launch, AT&T’s real 5G will only be as fast as its fake 5G

An AT&T sign on the outside of a building.
Magnify / An AT&T signal outdoor an organization place of job in New York Town.

AT&T will quickly be offering 5G cellular provider on its 850MHz spectrum, which can permit wider protection than current 5G networks however be offering most effective 4G-like speeds at release. Vital pace will increase will arrive in 2020, AT&T says.

The 5G networks already deployed by means of carriers use millimeter-wave indicators that do not trip some distance and are simply blocked by means of partitions and different stumbling blocks. This has led to protection maps with small wallet of 5G, and 4G near to in every single place else.

However 5G can paintings on all frequencies, such because the lower-band frequencies utilized by 4G. There is not as a lot spectrum to be had on those bands, so you will not see anything else like the large pace will increase to be had on millimeter-wave spectrum. However 5G on low-band spectrum will quilt wider spaces and indoor areas and confidently deliver some pace will increase—Verizon says 5G at the decrease bands will probably be like “just right 4G.”

AT&T’s announcement as of late indexed the primary towns slated to get 5G on low-band spectrum:

Within the coming weeks, our 5G community will release over low-band spectrum within the Indianapolis; Pittsburgh; Windfall, Rhode Island; Rochester, New York; and San Diego marketplace spaces. We additionally plan to release in numerous extra markets, together with Boston; Las Vegas; Milwaukee; New York Town; San Francisco; Birmingham, Alabama; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; Louisville, Kentucky; San Jose, California; and others.

AT&T additionally revealed a PDF with maps of anticipated 5G protection, however the maps are of protection projected for February 2020 somewhat than what’s going to be to be had at release.

AT&T prior to now introduced millimeter-wave 5G to trade shoppers however to not common customers. AT&T informed us that 5G on millimeter waves will probably be introduced to customers “at a later date.” First of all, common customers will most effective have get entry to to 5G on low-band spectrum.

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