This is AT&T’s 5G ‘puck’: its first mobile 5G device

The Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot is AT&T's first mobile 5G device. (AT&T)

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.”

Sponsored by ZTE

Interview with Chen Zhiwei

Gain insight from Chen Zhiwei, the Deputy General Manager of ZTE Transport Network Product Line, on 5G telecom cloud networks and the ZTE NFVI solution.

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.

Suggested Articles

Mobile operators in Hong Kong this week acquired 3.5 GHz spectrum, spending a total of $128 million at the 5G auction.

Democratic FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks cast dissenting votes in the proposed T-Mobile merger with Sprint.

Telefonica Ventures joins existing Altiostar investors, including Rakuten, Cisco, Qualcomm, Tech Mahindra and Fidelity.