AT&T has just announced that its mmWave ‘5G+’ network is now available to everyone (opens in new tab), not just business customers. Prior to this, AT&T’s much more widespread, slower low-band 5G network was available to everyone but the faster speeds were limited to just businesses.
Having mmWave 5G available to all allows AT&T to compete much more aggressively with competitors Verizon and T-Mobile, who also have mmWave networks available to all customers.
The Samsung Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra are the first phones to support both low-band 5G and mmWave. These devices will launch today and can be used on AT&T’s 5G networks.
The 5G riddle
5G has been confusing many consumers as of late, thanks to the different types of the new network on offer. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are rolling out two different types of 5G; super-fast mmWave which cannot pass through walls, and low-band 5G which has a wide coverage but slower speeds.
AT&T and T-Mobile have activated both types of 5G, whilst Verizon has only switched on its mmWave network thus far. Sprint, on the other hand, is completely doing its own thing, working on a mid-band 5G that offers the best of both worlds, which is a significant reason for T-Mobile wishing to acquire it.
And given all of this, it’s understandable that many customers are left scratching their heads at what 5G plan to go with.
How a plan with AT&T will work
AT&T customers who buy the Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phones will be able to tap into the super-fast ‘5G+’ mmWave network. This is present in parts of 35 cities where AT&T has rolled out mmWave. In these areas, customers can enjoy speeds 20x faster than 4G.
When mmWave isn’t available, customers will fall back on AT&T’s low-band 5G network which covers 80 million people in the US. This network is essentially just a slightly faster version of 4G.
Currently, AT&T customers won’t regularly be able to connect to the incredible speeds of its mmWave network but this will come with time as it gets rolled-out further. If you’re looking to buy one of Samsung’s new 5G devices, a single line on AT&T with support for 5G starts at $75 a month.