5G and Beyond

Samsung Announces First 5G Phones, Offers Few Other Details

SAN FRANCISCO -- Samsung drew the curtains on its first 5G smartphones -- the S10 5G and the 5G Fold -- on Wednesday, but didn't show them off, or offer any details on general availability at its launch event.

5G will be "20 times faster than 4G" according to Drew Blackard, senior director of product marketing at Samsung, during the unveiling of the S10 5G phone. Verizon says it will be the first to offer the S10 5G to customers in the US. In fact, Verizon's CEO Hans Vestberg turned up on stage to boast this!

Meanwhile, AT&T says it will offer the S10 5G in "the coming months," while Sprint and T-Mobile will have the phone this summer. There's no timing yet on when the 5G Fold will be available.

Samsung's S10 5G launch plans, however, offer further color on how initial 5G smartphones will arrive in the US. For example, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said recently that millimeter wave (namely 28GHz) phones could "possibly" arrive in the first half of 2019. Meanwhile, multimode phones will arrive later in the year (multimode being phones that support lower bands as well as millimeter wave in the 3GPP 5G NR standard). (See T-Mobile Won't Charge a Premium for 5G.)

Sprint and LG Electronics, meantime, may show off a 5G phone supporting the operator's 2.5GHz spectrum at the upcoming Mobile World Congress trade show. (See 5G4REAL: MWC19, 5G handsets and some frequency queries.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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