AT&T 5G / 5G E network coverage map: which cities are covered?
Latest update: September 27th, 2019. AT&T still does not have 5G smartphones available to consumers, it only offers 5G for businesses. Coverage, however, has now expanded to New York City and more.
AT&T has been one of the most controversial carriers when it comes to the launch of a 5G network in the United States. And the reason for that lies in the misleading branding that the company chose: it called an improved 4G service "5G Evolution" (also known as 5G E). This marker showed up on people's phones in early 2019 causing a bit of confusion, so to clear things up, this was definitely not 5G in any common terms. In fact, in some places, that 5G E network had slower speeds than a traditional 4G LTE network.
This mis-step aside, at the end of 2018, AT&T started to roll out a true 5G network across the nation using mostly millimeter wave (mmWave) technology like its competitor Verizon Wireless. mmWave uses high-frequency signaling to deliver incredible speeds, but at the cost of coverage as the signal cannot travel far and cannot penetrate buildings. Executives from the competitors have made fun of such networks calling them "hotspot 5G", referring to the scant coverage for those networks and mentioning that even closing a door might mean you stop getting coverage. To deal with that, carriers like AT&T will be installing a lot of base stations across major cities in the US and you can take a look at the current coverage below.
But first, let's take a look at AT&T's grand plan for 5G...
The name AT&T uses to refer to its "true" 5G network is "Mobile 5G", and this is the network that the carrier is starting to roll out in the middle of 2019.
The carrier is currently rolling out small cells that will deliver service using the 39GHz (mmWave) band, also referred to as band n260. While future coverage will also deploy on lower frequency spectrum, so far it seems that the initial launch will be all based on millimeter wave, hence it will be limited to “pockets of dense areas” within cities.
Like most carriers in the US, AT&T starts with very few 5G phones on offer, and to be perfectly precise, with AT&T the network launches with just one phone, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. Worse yet, the Galaxy S10 5G is only offered to business customers and AT&T has not yet announced when it will start selling 5G phones to regular customers.
One interesting detail is that developers visiting the AT&T Share conference on June 22nd in Los Angeles received a Galaxy S10 5G to start creating apps for the next-gen network. Those apps will be later presented at a hackathon event, but this just speaks to the fact that the technology is just starting to grow and regular customers will have to wait a while before they are able to make use of the network.
AT&T Mobile 5G Cities and Coverage
These are the cities where you currently have 5G coverage by AT&T:
- CA: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose
- FL: Jacksonville, Orlando
- GA: Atlanta
- IN: Indianapolis
- KY: Louisville
- LA: New Orleans
- NC: Charlotte, Raleigh
- NV: Las Vegas (new!)
- NY: New York City (new!)
- OK: Oklahoma City
- TN: Nashville
- TX: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco
Keep in mind that AT&T is actively developing the network and will be launching a lot of new markets throughout 2019 and 2020, with Chicago and Minneapolis being two major areas where it will expand in the future.