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AT&T Debuts 5G in Dallas This Week, But You Probably Can't Use It

AT&T's new 5G Nighthawk
AT&T's new 5G Nighthawk
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The air above Dallas is now home to a 5G network, AT&T announced Tuesday. You can't use it though, at least until Friday and probably not until spring at the earliest.

Dallas and 11 other cities got the speedy, mobile hookup yesterday. The first device capable of using the new wireless network protocol, which is capable of delivering speeds more than 30 times faster than the company's average 4G LTE speed, will go online Friday, but good luck getting your hands on one.

"Through an initial offer, we’ll deliver select businesses and consumers our first mobile 5G device plus 5G data usage at no cost for at least 90 days," AT&T said in a press release. "Next spring, customers will be able to get the Nighthawk for $499 upfront and 15GB of data for $70 a month on a compatible plan and no annual commitment."

The Nighthawk is a mobile hotspot manufactured by Netgear.

“This is the first taste of the mobile 5G era,” said Andre Fuetsch, president and chief technology officer of AT&T Labs. “Being first, 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.”

In addition to the mobile hotspot, AT&T plans to support two 5G-capable Samsung smartphones in 2019. Apple has indicated that it will not release a 5G iPhone until at least 2020.

In addition to Dallas, three Texas cities had their 5G turned on Tuesday — Houston, San Antonio and Waco. Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Oklahoma City; New Orleans; and  Raleigh, North Carolina also got service.

Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer for AT&T Business, said Tuesday that this week's initial rollout is focused on making businesses more productive.

“As the ecosystem evolves, this technology will ultimately change the way we live and conduct business,” Katibeh said. “We expect that our initial adopters will be innovative, growing businesses. They’re the starting point for what we think will be a technology revolution like we’ve never seen before.”

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