AT&T expects 5G to bring back carrier-locked smartphones

AT&T expects 5G to bring back carrier-locked smartphones
5G networks are expected to bring a whole host of benefits such as faster speeds and much higher network capacities. But according to AT&T’s VP of radio networks and device, Gordon Mansfield, some unfortunate setbacks will also arrive.

For years now, US consumers have become accustomed to owning carrier-transferable 4G LTE smartphones – this removes the need to purchase a new device every time you switch carriers. But with the next-generation technology, this liberty may be taken away from consumers. As expected, not all carriers will be relying on the same frequency bands initially – AT&T will be using 39GHz 5G, Verizon will be using 28GHz 5G, and T-Mobile will be using a similar 28GHz band in addition to a 600MHz one – but due to the relatively new nature of 5G, Mansfield has stated that, so far, “nobody has figured out how” to support all carrier frequencies within one device as of yet. Fortunately, Mansfield does expect these issues to be resolved soon. In fact, he expects that, “as an industry,” the issue will be overcome rather quickly and doesn’t “think the single band introduction to millimeter-wave point of view will last very long.” But in the short run, the limitations will likely impact people's ability to switch carriers with ease.

Ultimately, these drawbacks mimic the issues seen with the initial 4G rollout towards the beginning of the decade. This means that Mansfield’s comments on the matter are expected to be accurate. Nevertheless, those who may be planning to get a 5G smartphone next year should take into account the limitations that come with adopting the technology so early on.

source: PC Mag



1. torr310

Posts: 1646; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

guess Apple users will have one or two more years due to later adapting to 5G?

2. md227a

Posts: 226; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Well if it’s anything like when 4G rolled out I wouldn’t want it for a year or so anyways. Remember how bad battery life was on those first 4G phones?

3. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

They are already carrier locked

4. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1552; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I don't think this will cause carrier locks, the rest of the network isn't going away anytime soon. Might see a Verizon phone only has 5G on Verizon, but everything else should still work fine with another carrier like it does now.

5. gamehead unregistered

Carrier locked phones can go to h3ll

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