AT&T will not allow older phones to tap into its full 5G network. And with that being said, here are some reasons why you probably should not purchase the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, or any other non-2022 5G smartphone that is on an AT&T installment plan.
AT&T Will Not Allow Older Phones to Tap Into Its Full 5G Network
Network carrier company, AT&T is currently in the process of releasing a new 5G mid-band network. But in order for you to make use of it, you will need to have a higher-end flagship device. The third largest carrier in the US on Thursday went back on its word to upgrade older devices in supporting its newer 3.45GHz mid-band 5G.
AT&T revealed to CNET just last month that it would be upgrading some of its latest 5G devices and this is including 2020’s iPhone 12 series and 2021’s Samsung galaxy S21, iPhone 13 lines, and Google Pixel 6 in supporting the 3.45GHz mid-band spectrum, which it is planning to deploy alongside its C-band airwaves for a more vast nationwide 5G network that can compete better with the respective offerings of both Verizon and T-Mobile.
Offering and Capability of the Complete 5G Will Be Limited Only To a Selection of 2022 and Newer Devices
The company is now saying that the offering and capability will again be limited to only a selection of 2022 and newer devices. Those persons with older but however recent 5G smartphones and tablets will not be receiving updates nor be able to connect to AT&T’s complete 5G footprint.
Jim Greer, assistant vice president of corporate communications at AT&T in a statement told CNET that: “An inaccurate list of 3.45GHz compatible devices was provided by mistake and then incorrectly confirmed during the fact-checking” on the earlier story.
A new list that is provided by Greer now reveals that the carrier’s compatibility at the moment is constrained to some of its higher-end flagship phones and hotspots. And these devices include;
- Samsung Galaxy S22, S2 Plus and S22 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
- Apple iPhone 14, 14 plus, 14 pro, and 14 pro max
- Netgear Nighthawk M6 and Nighthawk M6 pro hotspots
Why This Really Matters
Other devices of AT&T that are not on that list still will be able to connect to the 5G network of the company and this is inclusive of its C-band 5G that operates in a frequency that is very much similar. The carrier however is planning to make use of both 3.45GHz and C-band in creating a mid-band network that is stronger nationwide, something that users whose devices are not compatible will not be able to experience.
AT&T’s executive vice president of network, Chris Sambar, has previously told CNET that while not all sell sites will be having access to both C-band and 3.45GHz; the majority will, however, get access to both frequencies.
Benefits Of The Midband Spectrum 3.45GHz
Midband spectrum such as the 3.45GHz that is at issue here is proving its worth at an incredible rate. And although there are three different ‘flavors’ of 5G, wireless services that are delivered over the mid-band spectrum get to offer the best combination of range and improvements in regards to speed. And this is the reason why all three major US operators have spent so much money on acquiring and deploying various network upgrades on these frequencies.
AT&T at the moment still sells a host of older 5G smartphones and this is including the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 as well as the Google Pixel 6 lines, and it continues to offer them on a lengthy 36-month installment plan.
How Will AT&T Explain To Its Users About the Recent Development?
It is not yet clear whether the carrier will explain to its users that are looking to upgrade to those very devices that they still will not be able to connect to its full 5G network, or that they will be needing an iPhone 14 or any latest high-end Samsung phone in order to be able to get a complete AT&T 5G experience for the complete three years of their installment plans.
The carrier on Friday revealed to CNET that it is providing information to its store teams in regards to its 3.45GHz network and the devices that it supports.