AT&T leads 5G race with Millimeter Wave mobile browsing

5G wireless milestone has been reached last week by AT&T with their successful Millimeter Wave mobile browsing test. Their 5G services are now ready to roll out. That means we can expect them in the marketplace with their fast 5G services during the next month or two.

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We all have heard, 5G is coming soon. It has now become clear; AT&T Mobility is leading the way with their successful Millimeter Wave mobile browsing test conducted last week. They are the first carrier to offer 5G speeds with their standards-based commercial mobile 5G device. The NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot will be available on the AT&T Mobile 5G network by the end of this year.

What this means is AT&T Mobility customers will be able to get 5G speeds on their smartphones, tablets and laptops when using this hotspot device in areas where the network has been upgraded. Just like with every other move to the next generation services, AT&T is rapidly adding new cities to this list and expanding service within each city.

It’s important to realize, there are no 5G smartphones or tablets in the market today. They will start to be introduced next year in 2019. So, this wi-fi connectivity gives AT&T the ability to deliver 5G speeds now, even without 5G devices. This is quite a breakthrough.

As with all carriers, the faster wireless service will continue to be upgraded throughout the entire network over the next several years.

AT&T uses NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G mobile hotspot

This is where the new NETGEAR hotpot comes into play. Customers get this hotspot. It connects them to the AT&T Mobility 5G network in areas where it is available. Then you connect your devices like your smartphone or tablet to the hotspot. That’s when you get lightning fast 5G speeds and connectivity.

Over the next year and two and three, more devices will be launched. Some of them will be devices like this hotspot device. Others will be 5G smartphones and tablets. That means there will be all sorts of wireless gear rolling out in an ongoing parade over the next several years.

All this 5G excitement has to start somewhere. And according to AT&T, it will start with them with this mobile device, in the next month or two. They remain on track to introduce mobile 5G in the United States in at least 12 cities this year and 19 cities in early 2019.

Difference between AT&T and Verizon 5G announcements

Today, the horserace for 5G seems to be between AT&T and Verizon at this early stage. Both have made announcements. It’s important to recognize these are both good, but they are very different announcements.

The Verizon announced a device that sits in the home or office. It’s not mobile. It provides 5G speeds in certain areas in certain cities start. But those speeds are limited to inside your home and office, not out and about.

The AT&T announcement goes further. It’s about parts of their wireless network being ready and a NETGEAR Wi-Fi device to let you connect at 5G speeds no matter where you are in their footprint. So, you can use it when you are out and about even if you don’t yet have a 5G device.

That’s the key difference between AT&T and Verizon and it’s an important to understand. Remember, the marketplace can get quite confusing with all the claims and counter claims. There is a real difference between these two services.

We are still very early in the coming 5G revolution

This is still the very early days of the coming 5G revolution. We will see and increasing number of carriers move into this new area over the next few years. Once they launch, they will then expand. So, they will start in parts of several different markets. Then they will expand the footprint to eventually encompass the entire market.

At it did with 2G, 3G and 4G, this full process to 5G will take years. Carriers will continue to add more markets and grow them the same way they always have through the journey.

The device market like wi-fi devices, smartphones and tablets are completely separate. It depends on the device makers and their plans on when their 5G devices will be launched. Some will be sooner and others later.

Example, in this battle I expect Google Android like Samsung Galaxy to be in the early 5G wave, and Apple iPhone and iPad to be in a later wave. Apple is never first when we move from one generation to the next.

Android, iPhone, B2B, M2M will all move to 5G

Then there are other 5G service and gear makers who will enter the market for the B2B and M2M side. Then there are other industries who see 5G as the way to accelerate their business and gain a competitive advantage. That means companies like KORE Wireless may move quickly in this same direction.

Then there are new players who want to redefine their entire industry. Examples are players like Uber and Lyft who are reinventing the entire taxi cab and limousine marketplace. Expect much more of this in coming years.

So, 5G will be an incredibly transformative technology. Not only transforming the wireless networks like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Not only transforming newcomers to wireless like Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Altice Mobile and more. Not only transforming the smartphone, handset and tablet makers like Apple, Android, Galaxy and more.

There will also be others entering this wireless space and growing and transforming their own companies in their own industries. 5G wireless will play an important role in reinventing the entire pay TV space as well.

5G revolution starts with this milestone AT&T announcement

And all this change, all this transformation, starts with 5G being available on the wireless networks. That’s what’s so important about this announcement from AT&T. It is a milestone in the transformation to 5G. One of many milestones over the next several years. It should be celebrated, and we should all be getting more excited.

5G will be good news for users, workers, providers, companies, executive, investors and so many others. Not only in the wireless network space, not only in the wireless handset space, but in every other industry as well.

5G will transform our world. It’s time to say goodbye to the horse and buggy we all grew up with and welcome in the Ferrari. The next decade will be filled with great growth potential and transformation. That’s something to get very excited about.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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