AT&T officially launched its mobile 5G network a couple of weeks ago, and now the first speed tests on that network have emerged.
Reddit user mwb6d says that they've got a Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot on AT&T's 5G network in Indianapolis, and a speed test they posted (below left) shows a download speed of 194.88Mbps, an upload speed of 17.08Mbps, and a ping of 77ms. They then flipped the hotspot to LTE to run a speed test (below right) and put up a download speed of 187.44Mbps, an upload speed of 8.14Mbps, and a ping of 77ms.
The owner of this Netgear hotspot says that they ran these tests across the street from a rooftop-mounted cell site.
While AT&T flipped the switch on its mobile 5G network in December, the coverage is currently only live in parts of 12 U.S. cities. There's also only one device that can access that coverage, the aforementioned Netgear hotspot, and AT&T is only offering it to select businesses and consumers, with wider availability planned for spring 2019.
There's a lot of excitement around 5G, and so these early speed tests may be a bit disappointing to folks that've been looking forward to fast speeds and low pings with mobile 5G. AT&T's 5G coverage is still very early, though, and PCMag notes that it only offers peak speeds of 625Mbps. Meanwhile, AT&T is using advanced LTE technologies that can help boost speeds. We'll have to wait awhile longer for carriers' 5G networks to spread and mature before we see performance that resembles what a lot of people expect from 5G.
Do you plan on being a 5G early adopter or will you wait for the networks and technologies to mature?