The year 2019 is expected to be the dawn of 5G wireless technology, but AT&T has chosen to launch its mobile 5G service as early as this coming Friday in 12 select locations across the United States. 

The telecommunications company announced in a press release that it rolled out its 5G network Tuesday in parts of the following 12 cities: 

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Houston, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • San Antonio, Texas 
  • Waco, Texas

Following the rollout, 5G connectivity will start to become available in the said locations on Dec. 21, Friday, when AT&T’s 5G device officially launches. 

Customers in the 12 areas who sign up as early adopters will have access to 5G through a Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot. AT&T said its network will provide users with 5G connectivity speeds that utilize the mmWave spectrum. This means it’s going to be faster than LTE. 

Since this is just the initial launch of its 5G service, AT&T is luring clients by offering its first 5G device with 5G data usage for free for at least 90 days. Then come springtime, the Nighthawk will be available for $499 upfront, while 15GB of data will retail for $70 a month. 

“This is the first taste of the mobile 5G era,” AT&T Labs president and chief technology officer Andre Fuetsch said. “Being first, you can expect us to evolve very quickly. It’s early on the 5G journey and we’re ready to learn fast and continually iterate in the months ahead.”

AT&T disclosed that it plans to expand the reach of its mobile 5G service to other locations in the first half of 2019. The carrier has seven target cities for early next year. They are Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, California. 

The first Android smartphones that are capable of connecting to 5G networks are expected to launch next year, according to MacRumors.