AT&T has flipped the switch on its faster, mmWave 5G network, which it calls 5G Plus. The next-generation 5G network is available to customers in "parts of 35 cities" in the US starting today.
The launch coincides with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, which are the only two devices that work with AT&T’s mmWave 5G, at least for the foreseeable future. The regular Galaxy S20 doesn’t support mmWave and only works with the low band, sub-6GHz 5G. The upcoming LG V60 ThinQ 5G, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 5G also only support sub-6GHz 5G.
The next-generation wireless network comes in two flavors of speed. The mmWave technology offers blazing fast speeds but has limited coverage, as these high-frequency bands are easily blocked by obstacles. The low band, sub-6GHz system has more range but barely-faster-than-4G speed.
AT&T has been offering sub-6GHz 5G since December last year — not to be confused with its fake 5Ge. Now the launch of its mmWave 5G means customers with compatible plans and devices will be able to access both the sub-6GHz and mmWave portions of AT&T’s network.
However, since mmWave's range is severely limited, even people with a Galaxy S20 Plus or an S20 Ultra will be using the sub-6GHz 5G most of the time. AT&T's mmWave 5G network has been available to select commercial partners for months. It's now available to the general public, with the carrier promising speed up to 2Gbps.
AT&T expands its 5G network
Along with the launch of its 5G Plus network, AT&T is also expanding its low-band 5G network to 22 more markets. Albany, Athens, Cincinnati, Columbus, Lancaster, Provo, Santa Rosa, and Springfield are some of the new cities covered by AT&T's 5G network.
In total, AT&T's 5G network is now available in 80 cities across the United States, covering more than 80 million people. You can find the full list here.
As for its new 5G Plus network, AT&T says it's available "parts of 35 cities" across the nation. The largest wireless carrier in the US, however, isn't detailing the names of those cities. Since mmWave has limited coverage, the network is only available in a few locations, beginning with "select businesses, universities, hospitals, and sports venues."
AT&T plans to continue to expand its both sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave 5G Plus networks in the coming months and years. The carrier hopes to offer nationwide coverage by the end of this year.