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AT&T 5G Network Availability and Network Coverage

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AT&T provides 5G service in 16,000 American cities and towns, and its network is capable of reaching 255 million people.1 However, AT&T’s 5G network is in the early stages of development, so even customers who can get 5G don’t get it everywhere they go.

We at HighSpeedInternet.com have spent months researching the tech behind 5G and following developments around it closely. So we put together a guide to help you figure out where you can get AT&T’s 5G service and what kind of speeds and devices come with it.

Pro tip:

Still not clear on what 5G is exactly? Take a look at our 5G wireless guide for more details on how 5G works, what speeds you can get, and where you can get it.

AT&T 5G rollout—how does it compare to competitors?

Provider5G availability (% of time cellular customers connect to 5G during phone use)5G average speedsView plans
AT&T16.5%49.1 Mbps
Verizon9.5%56.2 Mbps
T-Mobile35.4%150.0 MbpsView Plans

AT&T, one of the major 5G carriers nationwide, has the second-widest 5G availability and third-fastest 5G speeds compared to its two major competitors, T-Mobile and Verizon. That’s according to a January 2022 report from the mobile analytics company Opensignal.2

The cellular and internet company has been gradually building up its budding 5G network. The process was slower than expected in 2021, but it’s making a bigger splash in 2022 with the rollout of C-band spectrum across parts of AT&T’s 5G network, which is expected to vastly improve speeds in those areas. Meanwhile AT&T has offered regular promotions to customers for 5G phones like the iPhone 13.

You can get 5G from AT&T by signing up for one of a handful of unlimited-data cellular plans. Naturally you’ll also need a 5G phone, and you’ll need to be in AT&T’s 5G coverage area. Availability is limited since 5G is so new, but it could be coming to your area soon.

Pro tip:

Find out if AT&T has 5G coverage in your area by searching your address on AT&T’s 5G availability map.

How is AT&T’s 5G availability progressing?

ProviderAvailability—October 2021Availability—January 2022View plans
AT&T16.4%16.5%
Verizon9.7%9.5%
T-Mobile34.7%35.4%View Plans

Opensignal found in January 2022 that AT&T 5G users could get 5G service just over 16% of the time that they spent on their phones. When the 5G network fell off, the customers’ phones reverted to 4G LTE service.2

Availability has remained about the same as of January 2022, rising only 0.5% since Opensignal last checked on cell carriers’ 5G progress.

What is C-band 5G?

C-band is a type of radio spectrum that AT&T uses to vastly improve 5G access and speeds. Encompassing frequencies of ​​3.7 GHz–3.98 GHz, C-band works over a very wide range (from half a mile to six miles) and delivers superior speeds—anywhere from 100 Mbps and faster.

This spectrum is basically brand new in the 5G world, but as it becomes a bigger part of 5G networks throughout 2022 and 2023, it promises a huge boost in 5G accessibility and performance for AT&T users.

AT&T’s C-band and millimeter-wave versions of 5G are advertised under the name 5G+. If you get 5G+ in your area, that means you have access to very fast speeds—anything from 100 Mbps and up.

Pro tip:

Take a look at our guide to C-band 5G for a full explanation of C-band speeds, range, and availability.

Where can you get AT&T’s C-band 5G?

AT&T’s C-band 5G is currently available in eight cities.9 Here’s the full list:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Austin
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Jacksonville
  • Orlando
  • Miami

C-band will be available from AT&T in parts of dozens more cities by the end of 2022.

Where can you get AT&T’s millimeter-wave 5G?

You can get AT&T’s millimeter-wave 5G in densely populated parts of 39 major cities. AT&T has also set up 5G+ in more than 20 concert venues, sports stadiums, and airports across the country.4

  • AZ: Phoenix
  • CA: Los Angeles, Menlo Park, Oakland, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, West Hollywood
  • FL: Jacksonville, Miami, Miami Gardens, Orlando, Tampa
  • GA: Atlanta
  • IN: Indianapolis
  • IL: Chicago
  • KY: Louisville
  • LA: New Orleans
  • MD: Baltimore, Ocean City
  • MI: Detroit
  • NC: Charlotte, Raleigh
  • NV: Las Vegas
  • NY: New York City
  • OH: Cleveland
  • OK: Oklahoma City
  • PA: King of Prussia, Philadelphia
  • TN: Nashville
  • TX: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco
  • WI: Milwaukee

You can also get 5G+ in any of these venues:

  • CA: Dodger Stadium, Oracle Park
  • CO: Ball Arena (Pepsi Center)
  • FL: Hard Rock Stadium, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa International Airport
  • GA: Mercedes Benz Stadium
  • IL: United Center Chicago
  • MN: U.S. Bank Stadium
  • NC: Bank of America Stadium, Spectrum Center
  • NV: Las Vegas Convention Center
  • TX: AT&T Dallas Stadium, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, AT&T Center
  • WI: Fiserv Forum, Miller Park

AT&T 5G speeds

Cellular providerAvg. 4G speed*Avg. 5G speed†View plans
AT&T35.3 Mbps49.1 Mbps
Verizon30.2 Mbps56.2 Mbps
T-Mobile54.1 Mbps150.0 MbpsView Plans

AT&T’s 5G offerings are quite a bit faster than what it delivers over 4G. While you can get an average of 35.3 Mbps download speeds on the company’s 4G network, you can tap into average speeds of 49.1 Mbps if you’re connected to 5G.

Granted, those aren’t exactly the mind-boggling speeds that customers were promised as 5G was being hyped up by tech experts and cellular companies over the past two years. Theoretically, experts claim that 5G will one day top 10 Gbps.6 That’s 10,000 Mbps—clearly we are a long way from hitting that target.

How fast will AT&T 5G be in the future?

AT&T 5G will (hopefully) be much faster in the future as 5G networks build up across the country and infrastructure improves. AT&T’s deployment of C-band 5G—which uses radio frequencies between ​​3.7 GHz and 3.98 GHz—in particular could vastly improve 5G speeds on a nationwide scale.8

AT&T and other providers are also in the process of establishing “standalone” networks that feature all-new technology and more efficient network processing. These networks will give 5G a big speed boost and also make them capable of managing high-tech use cases like self-driving cars, factory robots, and, um, even automated tattoo machines.

What types of 5G can you get from AT&T?

5G spectrum typeSpeedAvailabilityView plans
Sub-6 GHz49.1 Mbps (on average)*14,000 towns and cities
5G+ (millimeter wave)245 Mbps (on average)Parts of 38 cities and 17 concert venues/airports
5G+ (C-band, 3.7 GHz-3.98 GHz)Significant improvement on sub-6 GHz 5G**Parts of 8 cities (will be 47 total in 2022)

The bulk of AT&T’s 5G frequency spectrum consists of low-band, sub-6 GHz radio bands, which gives you average speeds of 51.5 Mbps. It’s not the fastest 5G around, but it’s noticeably faster than the 30 Mbps you get on 4G networks.

Available in parts of 38 American cities, AT&T’s millimeter-wave 5G—dubbed 5G+—has a much shorter range but much faster speeds compared to the sub–6 GHz stuff, topping out at up to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps). You likely won’t find it except for in sports stadiums and densely packed downtown areas.

You also can expect to see a wider deployment of C-band throughout 2022. C-band is a type of 5G that delivers 100–500 Mbps over a wide coverage area. AT&T’s C-band also goes by the name of 5G+ alongside its millimeter-wave offerings.8

Will AT&T have 5G home internet?

AT&T doesn’t have any plans to launch a 5G home internet service, like those available from Verizon and T-Mobile . Instead the company is focusing on building up its 5G networks for cellular customers.

Pro tip:

Instead of building up a 5G internet service, AT&T is expanding its fiber internet footprint to more customers across the country. Read our AT&T fiber availability guide to get info on pricing and speeds and see if fiber is available in your area.

What other options are there for 5G home internet?

PlanPriceAverage speedView plans
Verizon 5G Home Internet$25/mo. (for subscribers to qualifying Verizon phone plans) or $50/mo. (for nonsubscribers)300 Mbps
T-Mobile Home Internet$50/mo.25 MbpsView Plans
Starry Internet$50/mo.Up to 200 MbpsView Plans

5G internet is a pretty new thing at this point, but there’s a few providers that offer 5G home internet options in limited areas. T-Mobile’s Home Internet service primarily operates over 4G LTE, but, according to some reports, your T-Mobile router can tap into 5G if it’s available in your service area.7

Pro tip:

The only major cellular company with full-on 5G internet right now is Verizon. Availability is limited, but it’s really affordable and delivers solid speeds. Take a gander at the details in our Verizon 5G Home Internet review.

We think services like these could eventually grow into solid alternatives to connections like cable and fiber internet.

How to get AT&T 5G: Phone plans and prices

PlanPriceData capHotspot dataVideo resolutionView plans
AT&T Unlimited Elite$85/mo. (1 line)Unlimited 4G LTE and 5G data30 GB/mo.HD streaming
AT&T Unlimited Extra$75/mo. (1 line)50 GB (afterwards speed slowed during network congestion)15 GB/mo.SD streaming
AT&T Unlimited Starter$65/mo. (1 line)Speeds slowed during network congestionNoneSD streaming

AT&T has three plans that will give you access to its 5G network—Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, and Unlimited Elite. They range in price from $65–$85 a month for one line, with the main difference being how much uninterrupted high-speed data you get.

5G is still fairly new and not widely available, so these Unlimited plans are basically 4G LTE plans with 5G included at no extra cost. Your phone service will connect to 5G when it’s available, but for the most part you’ll connect to AT&T’s 4G LTE network.

As 5G grows in availability over the next year or two, you’ll likely see more 5G–oriented plans and 5G options coming from AT&T and other cellular carriers.

Pro tip:

Not sure how 4G and 5G differ? Read our 4G vs. 5G page to get all the details about speed, performance, devices, and availability.

AT&T 5G phones and devices

AT&T has been promoting 5G phones heavily in recent months, giving new customers discounts and rebates on the hottest 5G models. It offers several 5G phones on its website, which range in price from affordable to megadeluxe.

See the table below for our top recommendations.

Best 5G phones for AT&T customers

DevicePriceDisplayMore details
iPhone 13$829.006.1" Super Retina XDR OLEDView on Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G$999.996.6" AMOLED 2X Infinity-OView on Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G$699.996.4" AMOLEDView on Amazon
OnePlus 9 5G$599.996.55" Fluid AMOLEDView on Amazon

Pro tip:

Peruse through our guide to the best 5G phones for all the details on design, specs, and cameras.

Sources

  1. AT&T, “AT&T Rolls Out Super-Fast 5G+ Across the U.S.” Accessed March 9, 2021.
  2. Ian Fogg, Opensignal, “5G User Experience Report,” January 2022. Accessed February 22, 2022.
  3. Ian Fogg, Opensignal, “5G User Experience Report,” October 2021. Accessed February 22, 2022.
  4. AT&T, “AT&T Is Preparing for the Next Wave of 5G+,” February 1, 2021. Accessed March 9, 2021.
  5. Francesco Rizzato, “Quantifying the Mmwave 5G Experience in the US—July Update,” July 13, 2021. Accessed February 22, 2022.
  6. Chris Hoffman, How-To Geek, “What Is 5G, and How Fast Will It Be?,” January 3, 2020. Accessed March 10, 2021.
  7. Rick Broida, CNET, “T-Mobile’s $60 Home Internet Service: The Cheapskate Review,” May 5, 2021. Accessed December 7, 2021.
  8. Bevin Fletcher, Fierce Wireless, “AT&T Drums C-Band Progress, Tees up 5G+ Branding,” October 26, 2021. Accessed December 7, 2021.
  9. Chloe Albanesius, PC Mag, “AT&T C-Band Rollout Begins in 8 US Cities,” January 19, 2022. Accessed February 22, 2022.