AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in January that AT&T’s first mobile 5G device would be a “puck.” Today AT&T took the wraps off that gadget: It’s the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot.
AT&T disclosed the news in its announcement that it successfully completed “the world’s first millimeter wave mobile 5G browsing session with a standards-based device on a mobile 5G network” last night in Waco, Texas.
“The browsing session was on what will be a commercially available 5G device—the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot,” AT&T said. “This is the first standards-based mobile 5G device in the world able to access a live millimeter wave 5G network.”
An AT&T spokesperson confirmed to FierceWireless that the Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot will be AT&T’s first mobile 5G device, and that it is the “puck” Stephenson was referring to in January.
AT&T didn’t disclose much information about the Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot other than that it uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem. Most likely, the device broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal for local users and connects to AT&T’s 5G (and likely LTE network) to get to the internet.
The Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot is noteworthy in that it can support mobile 5G services in AT&T’s millimeter-wave spectrum. 5G technology represents the first time major mobile operations for consumers have been transmitted in millimeter-wave spectrum.
AT&T has promised to launch mobile 5G services on the 3GPP’s specification in a dozen cities by the end of this year.
Verizon already launched its own 5G service this month, 5G Home, in millimeter-wave spectrum, but that service is designed for fixed applications and not mobile services. Meaning, users must install a 5G router inside or outside their home or office, and then they access the service through a stationary Wi-Fi connection. Verizon has promised to launch mobile 5G services next year.