AT&T begins rolling out 5G in New York, with some caveats

AT&T has begun rolling out its 5G network in New York City ahead of rivals, but with some caveats.

The network, which AT&T says sent live on Tuesday, is of the 5G+ variety. 5G+ is AT&T’s moniker for its millimetre-wave network which is superfast but has limited range.

AT&T has said this limited range means its 5G+ network in New York is currently only available in certain locations. The new service will first be available near East Village, Greenwich Village, and Gramercy Park, but will expand over time.

For average consumers, AT&T has a confusing range of names for its various networks. As aforementioned, 5G+ is AT&T’s prime example of 5G. What the operator calls '5G' uses sub-6GHz spectrum which covers a wider area than 5G+ but at lower speeds. Finally, there's the controversial '5GE' which has been branded as misleading due to it not really being 5G but rather an improved version of AT&T's existing LTE network.

In a statement, Amy Kramer, President of AT&T's New York region, said:

"As a densely-populated, global business and entertainment hub, New York City stands to benefit greatly from having access to 5G, and we've been eager to introduce the service here.

While our initial availability in NYC is a limited introduction at launch, we're committed to working closely with the City to extend coverage to more neighbourhoods throughout the five boroughs."

New York represents the 21st city where AT&T has rolled out some form of 5G service. The operator has been rapidly expanding its 5G services far beyond the pace of competitors.

Verizon currently has a 5G service live in nine cities, T-Mobile in six, and Sprint in five. T-Mobile and Sprint have argued to regulators that permitting their proposed merger will enable the combined entity to speed-up the rollout of 5G.

Along with this week's New York announcement, AT&T said that it plans to “introduce 5G broadly over sub-6GHz in the coming months, with plans to offer nationwide 5G in the first half of 2020.”

Oh, and AT&T’s 5G network in New York is currently limited to business customers. Sorry general consumers.

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