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AT&T Is Opening 5G Service To Users In A Dozen Cities This Week, Including Charlotte

AT&T Inc. customers will soon be able to access 5G speeds in parts of a dozen cities, including Charlotte and Raleigh.

The company (NYSE: T) is rolling out the service on next-generation networks, or 5G, on Friday, it said on its website Tuesday. The move comes after AT&T had long said it would offer the service by the end of 2018.

“This is the first taste of the mobile 5G era,” said Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and chief technology officer for AT&T, on the site. “You can expect us to evolve very quickly. It’s early on the 5G journey and we’re ready to learn fast and continually iterate in the months ahead.”

The Dallas-based telecom is investing heavily in the new technology as it seeks to distinguish itself as the early player on 5G in the persistently competitive industry. The new networks promise speeds that will change how consumers — and especially businesses — use wireless technology.

Folks initially won’t be accessing the zippier speeds directly onto smartphones, but instead on Netgear’s Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot. This device enables nearby gadgets — such as a tablet or laptops — to tap into the technology.

The initial offer will deliver select businesses and consumers the device and 5G data usage at “no cost for at least 90 days,” the company said. In the spring, customers will be able to get the Nighthawk for $499 upfront, and will receive 15 gigabytes of data for $70 a month on a compatible plan with no annual commitment.

AT&T said 5G is live in parts of Charlotte; Raleigh; Dallas; Atlanta; Houston; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Oklahoma City; New Orleans; San Antonio; and Waco, Texas.

In the first half of 2019, the company will deploy mobile 5G in seven more cities, including: Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose, California. – Business Journal

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