Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
AT&T’s low-band 5G network is expanding to 28 new regions today, including Austin, Miami, Dallas, and Salt Lake City. If you’ve been waiting for a slight speed boost over your current LTE connection and have a 5G-compatible phone, you might want to check if your neighborhood is part of this latest expansion.
Technically, we’re talking about AT&T’s low-band 5G network, which has slightly better speeds and latency compared to 4G LTE. When OpenSignal tested 5G speeds from major phone carriers in downtown cities over the winter, it found AT&T’s low-band download speeds averaged 59.3Mbps. The low-band network is not to be confused with AT&T’s 5G Plus, a high-band network with mmWave frequencies, which offer far faster internet speeds than low-band offerings — sometimes over 1Gbps. The company also offers another “5G” option: 5G E. But that’s not real 5G at all, but rather a slightly faster version of LTE. Yes, it’s all a little confusing.
My colleague Chaim Gartenberg did a robust explainer on 5G earlier this month and explained that although 5G, in general, will add to and enhance cellular technology, it provides a lot of tradeoffs due to how 5G radio’s electromagnetic spectrum works, how expensive 5G smartphones are, and the limited range of 5G network coverage.
The new addition brings AT&T’s total number up to 355 coverage areas, though its big milestone was in April when the carrier launched its low-band 5G in 137 new cities including Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Nashville, and Tallahassee. The carrier’s promising nationwide 5G by the end of the year. Here’s the full list of all the areas now offering low-band 5G starting today:
West Palm Beach
Salt Lake City