Smartphone carriers have been steadily working towards making 5G available to all regions. Now, as part of these efforts, AT&T has announced the expansion of its Internet Air plan, which leverages 5G technology to bring high-speed Wi-Fi directly into homes.
With this expansion, the Internet Air plan will encompass 16 new cities, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon (Pennsylvania), Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Phoenix (Prescott), Chicago, Detroit, Flint-Saginaw-Bay City (Michigan), Hartford-New Haven (Connecticut), Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland (Oregon), Salt Lake City, Seattle-Tacoma, and Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota, Florida).
“We’ve already rolled out AT&T Internet Air to existing copper-based customers with great success. As we begin to scale, we are hyper-focused on selecting locations with enough wireless coverage and capacity to deliver not only a great in-home experience but also maintain a top-notch wireless service for our existing mobile users,” said Erin Scarborough, president of AT&T’s broadband and connectivity initiatives.
How does the Internet Air plan work?
As the name suggests, the Internet Air plan employs 5G infrastructure to provide high-speed Wi-Fi, offering download speeds ranging from 40 to 140Mbps and upload speeds ranging from 5Mbps to 25Mbps. While these speeds pale in comparison to the traditional fibre optic cables, the affordable price of just $55 per month, along with the elimination of overage fees, equipment charges, and binding contracts, has made the plan a viable option.
When it comes to setting up, users receive a combined modem/Wi-Fi router device, accompanied by an intuitive app that assists in installation and subsequent management. This app not only helps users find the best extender placement but also sends notifications for network optimization by relocating the router or extender if necessary. Furthermore, homes requiring extended coverage can add Wi-Fi extenders at an extra cost of $10 per extender, up to a maximum of five.
However, it is important to note that AT&T isn’t the sole contender in the race for 5G-powered home internet. This is because Verizon’s basic 5G home internet plan starts at $50 per month (with autopay) or $60 without, while T-Mobile offers a comparable plan at the same price point.