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On Dec. 21, the AT&T 5G hotspot will be available to customers (sort of)

The AT&T 5G hotspot will be available to select customers on December 21, 2018. It will only work in very specific areas of the U.S.

Published onDecember 18, 2018

A promotional image of the AT&T 5G Hotspot, made by NETGEAR.

Unless another carrier pulls out all the stops in the next few days, it looks like AT&T will be the first wireless provider in the United States to offer consumer access to a 5G network.

On December 21, 2018, AT&T will make the AT&T 5G hotspot available to consumers, which will act as a bridge between its commercial 5G network and your current smartphone. The hotspot is made by NETGEAR and is officially called the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot.

Granted, the hotspot will only work in certain areas of the U.S. According to AT&T, those areas are:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Louisville, KY
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Waco, TX

Keep in mind that even if you live in one of these areas it’s not like the entire city is blanketed in 5G access. The company says the AT&T 5G network is now live “in parts” of the 12 cities above.

If you live in those areas and are ready to grab your AT&T 5G hotspot, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that on December 21, AT&T will offer the hotspot and 5G network access to select businesses and consumers at no cost for up to 90 days. AT&T did not make it clear whether these “select” customers will be chosen by the company, through a sign-up sheet, or through another method.

The bad news is that the country at large will not be able to walk into a store and buy the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot until Spring of 2019. When the device does go up for sale, it will cost you $499 upfront and allow you to access 15GB of 5G data for $70 per month.

What do you think? Will you buy the AT&T 5G hotspot when it is made available to you? Let us know in the comments.

NEXT: This is Samsung’s 5G smartphone prototype

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