AT&T switches on its low-band 5G network

(Image credit: AT&T)

AT&T’s low-band 5G network is finally ready for customers to experience in 10 different U.S. cities. And the first handset to be supported from the currently available list of 5G phones will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G. 

AT&T initially promised five cities would be included in the launch, but it has already managed to double that number. With areas for the initial launch including Indianapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Birmingham, Alabama; Providence, Rhode Island; Rochester, New York; and San Jose, California.

Nationwide coverage by June 2020 

The next wave of areas set to receive AT&T 5G are Boston, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; Las Vegas; Louisville, Kentucky; and New York City. Whilst no exact timeline has been given, the company promises to turn on its network in more places soon. AT&T has also said that it’s working toward offering “nationwide coverage” in the first half of 2020.

AT&T already has a millimeter-wave 5G network, which it calls "5G Plus," live in parts of 23 cities, but it has limited access to just developers and businesses. The high frequency “5G Plus” service is AT&T’s fastest network, producing incredibly impressive speeds of around 1Gbps. But the 5G Plus service has an extremely limited range, and the network is easily affected by objects such as walls. 

This new low-band 5G network is similar to the network that T-Mobile turned on recently,  boasting coverage for 200 million people, and the ability to cover longer distances, and make it into buildings. This low-band network will become what AT&T uses to cover large portions of the country with 5G, and Kevin Petersen, senior vice president of AT&T Mobility, said that speeds on the low-band network will be "on par" with what AT&T 4G LTE users currently get.

However, unlike T-Mobile, AT&T isn’t making any speed promises for the low-band network. T-Mobile suggested that speeds would be 20% faster than average networks. This promise hasn’t been reflected in the customer experience as of yet, though, as many T-Mobile users are saying the new 5G speeds are no faster than 4G.

Fiona Leake

Fiona discovered her love for investing and making money from a young age. Since then this interest has grown and now she loves writing about investing and business, and follows the 5G market closely. She is also a technology enthusiast, and so they tend to be her favourite investments.