AT&T Launches Its First 5G Hotspot for Consumers

From PC Mag: AT&T is finally getting a 5G hotspot that everyone can buy. The Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro is AT&T's first all-purpose 5G hotspot, offering all of AT&T's 4G and 5G technologies to anyone who can afford it. The new hotspot goes on sale Sept. 18 for $509.99.

The carrier has had a hotspot sort of out there for more than a year now, but the earlier Netgear Nighthawk 5G was only available to people with business accounts, not to consumers. The company's best consumer hotspot before this was the $249.99 Netgear Nighthawk M1, which does well with AT&T's 4G network but doesn't support 5G.

The Nighthawk Pro works with AT&T's low-band and high-band 5G networks. Both networks have issues. Our Fastest Mobile Networks tests showed that the low-band 5G network was slower than AT&T's 4G network. The high-band network is much, much faster, but AT&T does not publish maps of where it's available in its 35 cities. The hotspot also supports AT&T's dynamic spectrum sharing, which should improve 5G performance.

It isn't clear yet whether the new hotspot supports the upcoming C-Band being auctioned in December, which would be AT&T's best chance to establish faster metro-area networks in 2021.

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