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AT&T has now said it has taken a decision to provide its 5G access to 10 cities instead of the 5 previously announced.
Last month, telecommunications giant AT&T announced that it will make its 5G service accessible to millions of customers before 2019 runs out. The company initially said that five areas will get the coverage when it eventually goes live. AT&T has however changed its mind and increased the number of areas from 5 to 10.
Starting today, the next-generation network will be available to everyone in Birmingham, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rochester, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. Customers in this area who are interested in enjoying 5G coverage would have to get a supported device. The company has also started selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G and would most likely focus its sales in the announced areas. The new Samsung‘s smartphone has been set at $1,300.
There also options for trade-ins and together with the possibility of purchasing one of the company’s unlimited plans, some customers might be able to pay only $350 for the device.
Speaking on the new offering, AT&T President of Technology Operations Scott Mair has said the company will be at the forefront for innovation:
“We believe 5G technology will be game-changing, and we continue to help drive this next wave of innovation. We were the first in the U.S. to offer commercial mobile 5G, and this is the next step as we build to nationwide service in the first half of 2020.”
AT&T has three 5G options. The first is called 5G Evolution (5GE) which was released earlier and is not really 5G. Even though the network has stressed that the 5GE doesn’t stand up to the requirements for 5G, it hasn’t been enough to quell customer’s frustrations as to why they did it in the first place.
The version launching today is the actual 5G which has been described as low-band because it has slower speeds than mmWave, even though it has a really broad range. The third option is 5G+ which doesn’t have a very broad range but is much faster than the rest. Officially launched last year, 5G+ is however reserved for just a few businesses and developers even though it’s available in about 23 cities already.
Apart from having a 5G-enabled device, access to the new offering would also be available to customers who are on either the Unlimited Extra plan or the Unlimited Elite plan. Customers who buy either of these plans – which cost $75 and $85 per month respectively – will have access to 5G at no extra cost. The respective data caps of 50GB and 100GB will however still apply and since the speed will be faster, it might make sense to assume that data will not last as long as customers are used to.
As mentioned earlier, the 10 cities announced will begin a plan that will eventually see the company expanding its low-band 5G to the rest of the U.S., by 2020. AT&T says the expansion will continue to seven more cities including Boston, Bridgeport, Buffalo, Las Vegas, Louisville, and New York City.
Despite the positive news about the launch of 5G, AT &T Inc. stock (T) is trading in red at press time, at $38.05, with a day’s range of between $37.96 and $38.27. It has lost about 2.83% in the past month even though the Computer and Technology sector in general boasts of an increase of 1.17%. The company is predicted to report $0.88 earnings per share, cementing a year-over-year growth of 2.33%.