AT&T’s first actual 5G service has officially gone live in 10 cities across the U.S., the carrier said in a press release on Friday.
“With the launch of AT&T 5G for consumers, we’re bringing our customers new and innovative ways to connect with each other, their entertainment and their communities,” said Kevin Petersen, AT&T Mobility senior vice president.
The first 10 markets to get AT&T’s low-band 5G service include Birmingham, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rochester, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
Of course, only specific areas within those cities are getting coverage. If you’re curious, you can find 5G coverage maps on AT&T’s website.
The networks rely on AT&T’s sub-6GHz spectrum, which offers improved speeds over LTE but is a step down from the speedier but shorter-range mmWave spectrum. AT&T says that its low-band spectrum is “ideal” for customers on the go.
AT&T also offers what it calls 5G+ service, which is based on the mmWave spectrum, in 23 cities. Since it’s shorter-range, 5G+ is only available to businesses and other entities looking to offer faster connectivity in dense or high-traffic areas.
If you’d like to take advantage of AT&T’s new 5G networks, you’ll need a compatible device. Unfortunately, the options are pretty sparse at this point.
Users will be able to access the 5G network on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, which AT&T currently offers.
Apple fans will need to wait a bit longer to get 5G-compatible iPhones. The Cupertino tech giant is largely expected to debut at least four flagship iPhones with 5G compatibility next year. According to noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all four models will support both mmWave and low-band 5G in the U.S.
For users who don’t live in one of those 10 markets, AT&T said that it’s planning to deliver nationwide 5G coverage within the first half of next year.
“Today’s launch sets the stage for the development of new and immersive experiences as we prepare to deliver AT&T 5G nationwide in the coming months,” Petersen said.
It’s also probably important to note that AT&T 5G and 5G+ are actual, real 5G networks and not just a misleadingly named version of LTE like 5G Evolution.