Netgear Nighthawk M5 mobile hot spot | Image: Netgear
Netgear has announced the new Nighthawk M5 mobile hot spot, a full-featured 5G hot spot that will be available through carriers and in an unlocked version. In addition to supporting all versions of 5G, including both millimeter-wave and sub-6 networks, it also supports Wi-Fi 6 for devices that are connected to it. It will be available starting in May for a to-be-announced price.
The M5 is not Netgear’s first 5G hot spot — that honor goes to the model it produced for AT&T business users last year — but it is the first one that will be widely available. It has Qualcomm’s X55 modem inside, and it’s able to support standalone 5G configurations once those are supported by carriers. (For now, a 4G LTE modem provides the fallback required by carriers.) Netgear claims it can support speeds up to 4 Gbps.
The M5 supports all variations of 5G service
In addition to supporting Wi-Fi 6 for device connections, the M5 has a built-in gigabit Ethernet port to more efficiently use its 5G speeds with a laptop or other device. A touchscreen on the front of the hot spot is used for monitoring data usage and setting configurations.
The M5 isn’t Netgear’s only cellular-based announcement today. It is also announcing an Orbi mesh router with a built-in 4G LTE connection. The LTE Orbi is designed for homes that don’t have access to wired broadband services, and it has a tri-band mesh network that runs on Wi-Fi 5. Netgear says the Orbi is pre-approved for use across all of the major carriers, and it will be selling it through standard retail channels. It’s expected to be available beginning in April for $399.99.