AT&T's real 5G network for the masses is launching at last with the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G

AT&T's real 5G network for the masses is launching at last with the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G
Just a couple of weeks after T-Mobile's big announcement of a "nationwide" 5G rollout scheduled for December 6 and mere days after Verizon finally caved and published its first-ever 5G coverage maps, AT&T is proud to "begin extending 5G services across the US."

What that essentially means is the nation's second-largest carrier is almost ready at long last to provide a 5G signal for actual everyday consumers after debuting its high-speed network for business customers all the way back in December 2018. In order for regular people to be able to enjoy mobile 5G coverage, AT&T obviously needs to release a 5G-enabled smartphone too, which will also happen soon enough.

No more Verizon exclusivity for the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G

Unsurprisingly, Samsung's newest 5G-capable flagship will be AT&T's first-ever handset equipped with super-advanced network functionality for the masses. Exclusively sold by Verizon in the US for several months, the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G is slated to go up for pre-order through Ma Bell on Monday, November 25, before expanding to T-Mobile and Sprint too... eventually.

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Unfortunately, AT&T is not ready to share full Note 10+ 5G pricing details for its network, merely highlighting you'll be able to score this absolute powerhouse for as little as $350 next week with a "qualifying" monthly installment plan, unlimited service plan, and trade-in. In case you're wondering, Verizon's price is set at a justifiably high $1,300, which you can split in 24 or 36 monthly payments of $54.16 and $36.11 respectively.

We also don't know exactly when AT&T's first 5G-equipped smartphone will actually be released, and that's mainly because the carrier is keeping its high-speed network rollout date under wraps as well.

"Tens of millions" of people will be covered "soon", nationwide 5G coming next year

It's hard to explain why AT&T continues to be so secretive and mysterious with only a few weeks left in the year, but all we know right now is low-band 5G service will be made available in the Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rhode Island, Rochester, New York, and San Diego "market areas" in the "coming weeks", followed by Boston, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, New York City, San Francisco, Birmingham, Alabama, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Buffalo, New York, Louisville, Kentucky, San Jose, California, and "others" at some point in the not-so-distant future.

To its credit, AT&T is already sharing detailed 5G coverage maps for 15 markets, although the depicted network availability is only expected to coincide with real-world 5G coverage in February 2020. Meanwhile, AT&T's 5G signal should achieve "nationwide" coverage for both consumers and businesses sometime in the first half of next year. Keep in mind that this is low-band 5G technology we're talking about and not mmWave spectrum, the latter of which will be leveraged for AT&T's slower "5G+" rollout, expected to reach "parts of" 30 cities in early 2020.

While millimeter wave technology allows for much faster speeds, the slower low-band spectrum is easier to deploy on a larger scale. Sadly, the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G is a low-band phone unlikely to support AT&T's 5G+ deployment. And yes, we all realize how absurd it is for a single carrier to use 5G, 5G+, and 5Ge marketing labels concurrently.

Two new unlimited plans include 5G access at no extra cost

In addition to living in a city covered by AT&T's first wave of 5G consumer releases and buying the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, you'll need one more thing to tap into this improved network for "ultra-responsive" gaming, "precise navigation", and "near real-time" video communications.

We're talking, of course, about a supported plan, and AT&T will let you choose between two recently launched options. With Unlimited Elite service, you'll get a whopping 30GB mobile hotspot allotment, as well as HBO and HD streaming, all for the low price of $50 a month per line with 4 lines in total (or a much higher $85 a month for a single line). Meanwhile, Unlimited Extra subscribers will have to settle for a 15GB mobile hotspot bucket and no HBO add-ons or HD streaming, paying $70 a month with an individual account or as little as $40 a month per line for a family of four.

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