Following Verizon's recent announcement for the release of a 5G smartphone in 2019, AT&T confirmed that it will carry the same Samsung 5G device as Big Red in the first half of 2019.
This 5G smartphone will give customers on a compatible plan access to the 5G network that AT&T plans to introduce before the end of 2018. This is only the second 5G gadget AT&T has confirmed ahead of its upgraded network's debut, the other being a Netgear hotspot.
Additionally, AT&T is working with Samsung to create America’s first manufacturing-focused 5G Innovation Zone. The goal of the testbed is to use 5G to enable new robotic manufacturing capabilities to better understand the impact of 5G on smart factories. AT&T expects that future smart factories will be filled with 5G-connected sensors that can channel real-time information about equipment performance, ranging from vibration to noise data.
AT&T has installed the latest mobile 5G network equipment in areas in the 12 markets where the company plans to make 5G available in 2018. The company is also on track to offer the first mmWave mobile 5G device this month. Cities where we plan to make standards-based mobile 5G service available this year include Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C. Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, N.C., San Antonio and Waco, Texas. We plan to expand service in the first half of 2019 to parts of 7 additional cities, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, Calif.
As with Verizon and Sprint, the initial hardware selection is going to be quite slim. It's more for early adopters in 5G-enabled cities than everyday users planning to upgrade once their installment plans or contracts are over.