AT&T might be battling Sprint over its fake 5G E branding, but the carrier isn’t relenting in its pursuit to top other U.S. carriers in rolling out true 5G network.
5G is the next-gen wireless network that is expected to provide never-seen-before speeds that are beyond what 4G LTE offers, but until today, the said gigabit-class speeds have been quite elusive. On the brighter side, it appears that AT&T is the first carrier that will bring this level of network speeds to the U.S. market.
In a statement published on its official blog, the carrier claims to be the first in the country to clock speeds of more than 1Gbps on a mobile 5G network. This feat has been achieved in multiple cities with the help of Netgear’s Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot. With such internet speeds, AT&T says it’ll take only 20 seconds to download a 2-hour HD movie.
Even more interesting is that AT&T expects to improve these speeds later in the year after it combines LTE and 5G into a single connection. But unfortunately, at least for now, getting hold of the required accessories to enjoy 5G speeds is an uphill task.
For instance, there are basically no phones on the market that are compatible with the 5G network. Furthermore, assuming you live in one of the few cities that AT&T has availed the service, you’ll still need an invitation to buy the Netgear hotspot as well, which is another hassle.
In short, it’ll take time before 5G becomes mainstream, most likely beyond 2020 when 5G phones become more affordable and practical for most people.