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AT&T to Launch Standards-Based 5G Access Later This Week

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5G is about to become a reality, as AT&T announced it will be the first in the nation to provide access. That access will be limited, as first: The carrier is providing 5G in only 12 cities at the start, and only with a pricey mobile hotspot.

The first 12 cities to get 5G are Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; New Orleans, Louisiana; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonia, Texas; and Waco, Texas.

The 5G service will first be available for free for 90 days to select consumers and businesses. Starting in the spring, customers will be able to buy the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot for $499, and sign on for 15GB of data for $70 per month. In its press statement, AT&T didn't make any claims about what speeds 5G customers should expect.

Verizon has launched a 5G residential offering, already, but it doesn't use the actual 5G standard. That's why AT&T is boasting that its offering uses "a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network."

AT&T will soon roll out 5G to larger markets, as well. It announced that seven other cities—Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; and San Jose, California—will get access in the first half of 2019.

5G phones will begin selling in the first half of 2019.

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