- AT&T announced it will launch a Samsung-branded 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019.
- The smartphone could be the rumored high-end Galaxy S10 variant and/or the same 5G smartphone recently announced for Verizon.
- AT&T also announced it installed 5G equipment in 12 markets.
With U.S. carriers still racing to be the first to launch a 5G network, AT&T announced that it will launch a Samsung-made 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. It would be AT&T’s second 5G device it has announced, the first being a 5G mobile hotspot.
AT&T said very little about Samsung’s 5G smartphone in its announcement. That said, Verizon announced yesterday that it will launch a Samsung 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. Odds are that the two phones are the same device, though Verizon was also mum on details.
There is also a chance that the Samsung 5G smartphone is the highest-end model of the upcoming Galaxy S10. The high-end Galaxy S10 variant reportedly features six total cameras, a 6.7-inch curved OLED display, an in-display fingerprint sensor, reverse wireless charging, and 3D sensors on the front and back.
In related news, AT&T also said it installed 5G equipment in the 12 markets that will get the carrier’s standards-based 5G network. Those 12 markets will also get the aforementioned 5G mobile hotspot that somewhat resembles a gigantic hockey puck.
AT&T did not say how much the hotspot will cost, but the carrier plans to expand service to seven additional cities during the first half of 2019. It sounds like customers must be on a “compatible plan” if they want to use AT&T’s upcoming 5G network.
As exciting at AT&T’s 5G network sounds, the barrier to entry will be a tall one. Unless you are one of 10 people who bought the Moto Z3 and will get the 5G Moto Mod, your smartphone will not work with 5G. As a result, you must buy up a new smartphone and possibly switch to a new plan to use the next-generation network.
You must also live in a supported area and make sure your carrier is actually working toward 5G. AT&T and Verizon are determined to be first, while T-Mobile would rather have the best 5G network. Sprint made some 5G claims, but it is not in a hurry to be first.