AT&T Breaks Promise, Will Only Offer Fastest 5G Performance on Newest Phones

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A new block of spectrum will be unlocked for 5G quickly, but AT&T is now admitting that it misrepresented which telephones would be equipped to access it. Manufacturer new phones like the Apple iphone 14 will be able to join to the carrier’s shiny new mid-band 5G network, but more mature devices like the Iphone 13 and Galaxy S21 won’t get the earlier promised mid-band updates. 

AT&T invested the early phases of the 5G rollout at a drawback. T-Cell was equipped to plug in Sprint’s mid-band holding in the 2.5GHz vary, providing it a leg-up in excess of the competition. In the meantime, Verizon moved aggressively to roll out millimeter wave (mmWave) prior to branching out into low-band. AT&T, which relied on closely segmented 4G bands, had only a couple frequencies suitable for 5G. 

AT&T used major in early 2022 to get this new mid-band spectrum, which operates around 3.45GHz. This block of the airwaves made use of to be reserved for use by the armed forces, but it was introduced for industrial use and auctioned by the FCC in January. AT&T dropped $9.1 billion on licenses, much additional than Dish ($7.3 billion) and T-Cell ($2.9 billion). Verizon did not take part in the auction. 

Last thirty day period, AT&T was crowing about its options to roll out 3.45GHz simultaneously with its slightly larger c-band frequencies. It mentioned that more mature 5G gadgets, like the Iphone 12, Iphone 13, Galaxy S21, and Pixel 6 would be able to get gain of the new spectrum subsequent an update. It then verified that when questioned immediately. Now, AT&T has explained to Cnet it was mistaken each periods. 

A 5G millimeter wave mobile web-site on a gentle pole in Minneapolis.

AT&T’s up to date mid-band compatibility list is a great deal a lot more narrow. To get the very best from AT&T’s upcoming 5G rollout you’ll have to have to use an Iphone 14, Galaxy S22 (any model), Galaxy Z Flip4, Galaxy Z Fold4, or just one of the carrier’s Nighthawk hotspots. Some older devices will have c-band accessibility, but AT&T strategies to use both in tandem to bulk up its 5G network. 

Mid-band frequencies are found as the most attractive for 5G rollouts simply because they journey farther than mmWave, which can not even pass as a result of a wall, even though also presenting much more bandwidth than considerably-reaching minimal-band signals. AT&T continue to sells numerous smartphones that will not be ready to entry the 3.45GHz spectrum, and it’s unclear if it will make buyers mindful of this when they’re signing up for a 36-thirty day period payment approach on such equipment. Our hopes are not high—let’s not overlook this is the provider that rebranded 4G as “5GE.”

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Jennifer R. Kelley

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