AT&T Reveals First Commercial 5G Device
AT&T announced that its first available commercial 5G device will be the Netgear Nighthawk mobile hotspot, as the operator prepares to launch its initial next-generation market in the coming weeks.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) revealed the hotspot, which it has been calling a "puck," when announcing its "first millimeter wave mobile 5G browsing" session on the commercial device, in testing in Waco, Texas. The Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR) Nighthawk 5G uses a Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) X50 modem, which supports the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard. (See AT&T Promises Initial Mobile 5G Launch in 'Weeks'.)
AT&T has been using Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) infrastructure for the test in Waco. The operator has been running tests on 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum for its 5G tests so far, and asking for permission to test on 39GHz. (See AT&T Readies More High-Band 5G Tests as Mobile Launch Nears .)
The very first 5G networks in the US -- from both AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) -- are running (or will run) on millimeter waves. This is likely to produce a network that delivers multi-megabit to gigabit speeds over short coverage ranges (around 100 to 200 meters), meaning users should be able download a movie in seconds if they're connected to the network. (See Verizon to Launch Fixed 5G Service on Oct. 1 and AT&T 5G Tests Go Gaga for Gigabit.)
AT&T claims it will be the first US operator to deliver mobile 5G in the nation before the end of 2018. "We plan to reach at least 12 cities this year, 19 cities in early 2019 and will announce additional markets individually as we make our mobile 5G network live locally," Ma Bell said in a statement. (See 5G in the USA: Fall Edition.)
The operator promises more news on the hotspot later this year.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading