AT&T's real 5G network is live in 10 cities, coming to many more in 2020

AT&T's real 5G network is live in 10 cities, coming to many more in 2020
AT&T vaguely promised a few weeks ago that its true 5G mobile network would launch at long last for "tens of millions of people" by the end of the year, and with just a couple of weeks to spare, the nation's second-largest wireless service provider is delivering on that pledge.

While the carrier initially named a measly five markets as the first group scheduled to get low-band 5G coverage in 2019, the list has been expanded to include 10 cities where you can now improve your download speeds similarly to what T-Mobile subscribers are able to do "nationwide" since last Friday.

AT&T's 5G signal should obviously be stronger than the operator's 4G LTE and 5GE (aka LTE Advanced) technology, but there's actually also something called 5G+ in the pipeline. Currently available for businesses only, this uses mmWave spectrum, going directly up against the 5G network Verizon insists it is "building the right way." This technology takes mobile download speeds to a whole new level, but at least for the foreseeable future, both AT&T and T-Mobile consider "5G+" unfeasible for wide-scale consumer rollouts.

Instead, AT&T is allowing "businesses and collaborators" to explore "new ways to unlock the significant performance capabilities of 5G+" in high-traffic areas and places like arenas and campuses across 23 cities right now, planning however to eventually bring this ultra-high-speed service to everyday customers as well.

Where can you get 5G speeds on AT&T today?


While the highly contentious 5G Evolution (read fake 5G) service is live for the "majority of all Americans", only people in these 10 major markets are currently allowed to connect to a "true" 5G network, billed as significantly "faster, smarter, and more responsive" than the wireless industry's previous gold standard:

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Rochester, New York
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Up next, AT&T plans to "rapidly expand" the availability of its low-band 5G technology towards the eventual goal of offering "nationwide" coverage at some point in the first half of 2020. Even though we don't have any other specific rollout dates, the carrier has named a second batch of markets set to join the aforementioned group soon, including the following:

  • Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Buffalo, New York
  • New York City

What do you need to access AT&T's 5G network right now?


Two things, mainly. First, a 5G-capable smartphone. If you think choosing one will be difficult, you might want to think again, as AT&T sells a single such handset for the masses. Namely, Samsung's Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, which was recently expanded to T-Mobile as well after a fairly long period of Verizon exclusivity

Powered by a Snapdragon 855 SoC paired with a standalone Snapdragon X55 modem, the 6.8-inch beast seems to run Android 10 out the box on the software side of things for AT&T customers too. Up for pre-order for more than a couple of weeks now, the 5G-enabled powerhouse is now available in physical stores nationwide, as well as online for rapid shipping at a whopping $1,299.99 and up.


Bumping up the 256 gigs of internal storage space to twice that amount will set you back an additional 100 bucks, but for what it's worth, you can save $500 with a new line of service or up to $950 if you also have a number to port in and an eligible device to trade in. Oh, and the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G also includes wireless Galaxy Buds at no extra cost with no strings attached.

The other thing you'll need is a service plan with 5G access included. This time, you do get to choose between an Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite option, fetching as little as $75 and $85 a month respectively for a single line or a grand total of $160 and $200 respectively for a family account with four members. There's no 5G surcharge (yet), and the big advantages of going with the pricier plan are HD streaming capabilities, a bigger mobile hotspot allotment per line (30 vs 15GB), HBO access, and more "premium" data (100 vs 50GB).

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12 Comments

1. Omarc07

Posts: 590; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

This... I went to the At&t store they had the note 10 plus 5G . I live in LA . The lady was like this one runs in our new 5G which is here already in los Angeles. I took out my Verizon note 10 plus . Ran speed test side by side . The At&t note had 3 bars of 5G. I had 4 bars of Verizon lte. At&t speed test 160 mbps. My Verizon note 10 . 210 mbps. .. so yea........I have pics to prove it . To bad I can't post em on here. So much for 5G when Verizon 4G is faster Haha.

4. liteon163

Posts: 88; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

My son and I each have an LG G7 ThinQ (LTE); he's on AT&T and I'm on Verizon. He gets 100+ Mbps, I get 10-15 Mbps. While testing sitting right next to each other in the Milwaukee area. I'm no longer impressed with Verizon. I'll be looking to switch carriers once my phone no longer works well.

5. Seatech21

Posts: 74; Member since: Jan 01, 2018

Verizon is “slow” in many parts of Los Angeles. I would sure love to know where you were pulling in those speeds? I just dumped Verizon because their service has degraded lately and now have AT&T. Speeds on AT&T have been considerably faster overall! Verizon is also falling behind on 5G! With that said, I’ve been impressed with AT&T’s coverage and speed.

8. Omarc07

Posts: 590; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

At&t store in east LA and also Come to Monterrey park complete a&t dead zone, Alhambra, compton , Boyle heights At&t is not good at all 'll see u here . At&t is pretty bad . While verizon works fine . Also many stores At&t craps out i can give u a long list Walmart in southgate , home depot pico rivera also all the LA fitness montebello, pico rivera , Monterrey park and many more la fitness At&t completely craps out while Verizon comes tru. I know this because I actually had At&t for 2 years in LA moved to Verizon much better everything lte speed, signal I never looked back .

14. suavemezie

Posts: 98; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

You are a liar, Verizon LTE is not up to 210 mbps in LA

15. Omarc07

Posts: 590; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

No it's not I gotten more Haha

2. inFla

Posts: 222; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Depends where you live, I have strong AT&T signals where my Verizon account didn't have any.

3. Omarc07

Posts: 590; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Here in LA At&t has always been behind in speed ,Verizon ,tmobile heck even sprint on their new band 41 has faster speeds. I tought this 5G would make it faster but it's still the same.

6. Seatech21

Posts: 74; Member since: Jan 01, 2018

Well, we’re not talking about “what may have been the case” in the past, we’re talking about the NOW! And right now based on my recent experiences with both carriers AT&T has outperformed Verizon considerably. I don’t care what “bought and paid” for companies like root metrics say either!

16. Omarc07

Posts: 590; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I'm talking about the now get with the times and get a new phone on Verizon you'll see

7. Seatech21

Posts: 74; Member since: Jan 01, 2018

I’ve pulled around 300 mbps down and 100 up in certain areas on AT&T’s so called “fake 5G.” Other areas 170 mbps down 65 up.

17. smacsteve

Posts: 88; Member since: May 16, 2012

In this article the writer says that the Note 10+ 5G comes with the "Wireless Galaxy Buds". I work for AT&T COR and we just got our first shipment of these, but they didn't include them. Has anyone received a new Note10+ 5G and gotten them or not?

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