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AT&T won’t let Verizon have its moment in the 5G limelight

5G happy woman

Just a day after Verizon announced plans with Samsung to launch a 5G-compatible device in the H1 2019, AT&T has romped in to steal attention with its own, pretty similar announcement.

It must sound like a bit of an echo, but during the first six months of 2019, AT&T will bolster its 5G devices line-up with a Samsung smartphone. This is the second device which will be available through the AT&T portfolio, having announced a 5G Mobile Hotspot, in partnership with Netgear back in October.

“5G is going to be about more than just a network,” said David Christopher, President of AT&T Mobility and Entertainment. “Customers will eventually be able to connect in near real-time to unforeseen possibilities. Together with Samsung, we plan to bring the best in technology and innovation to our customers. The future we imagine with 5G is just beginning, and it is a great time to be a consumer.”

For those die-hard AT&T/Samsung fans, a little bit of cold water might have to be poured onto the excitement. AT&T has claimed to have installed 5G network equipment in the 12 markets it plans to go live in before the end of 2018, though coverage is likely to be incredibly limited in the first few months. By mid-2019, AT&T plans to bring the 5G bonanza to a further seven cities across the US, though as with the original 12 take the 5G coverage claims with a pinch of salt.

The 5G race in the US is certainly heating up, and while some might complain the buzz has dimmed into more of a nauseating drone, at least there is something to actually shout about nowadays. Aside from Samsung getting into bed with two hardcore rivals, Motorola is working with Verizon for its own device, while LG has plans to launch its own 5G compatible device on Sprint’s network, also for the first half of 2019. Apple, however, is choosing to sit out the H1 2019 race, suggesting its own 5G compatible device will not be ready until 2020.

Despite the inevitable short-comings when it comes to coverage, 5G is pretty close to becoming an actual thing in the hands of the consumer.

  • 2020 Vision Executive Summit

  • LTE Advanced Pro and Gigabit LTE: The Path to 5G

  • TechXLR8

  • BIG 5G Event

  • 5G North America

  • 5G World


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