AT&T already told us that their first 5G device would be a mobile hotspot brick and not a phone. That device is the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot and it’ll soon be available to early adopters. Today, we learned pricing for this device, as well as how much data will cost should you decide to buy one.
Through an early adopter offer for select customers, AT&T will hand over this Nighthawk 5G hotspot for no cost for “at least” 90 days, they said in a press release. Once spring rolls around, everyone else should be able to buy one and sign-up for a plan. At that time, the Nighthawk 5G brick will cost $499 (!) if you buy it outright and a compatible plan for it will include 15GB of data for $70 per month.
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How does that compare to current hotspot devices? AT&T sells at least three other devices (like this one) that can access their 4G LTE and 5G Evolution networks and they run anywhere from $125 to $200. So the first 5G-equipped hotspot will carry a $300 premium over LTE-only devices. Good lord.
As for the data plan, 15GB for $70 doesn’t seem that out of line compared to what they currently offer. AT&T sells a 10GB plan for $50/mo right now. The price per GB is slightly lower on this 5G option.
Just keep in mind that 5G availability will be extremely limited for the next year+. AT&T is launching in 12 cities this week, followed by another handful in the first half of 2019. In those cities, access will be limited to select areas, so this $500 hotspot will mostly be run on 4G LTE.