AT&T just announced which will extend 5G connectivity to customers with older unlimited plans for free starting this month.
Before today, if you bought a 5G phone, say, a iPhone 12—And I wanted to activate it on AT & T’s 5G network, I had to upgrade to one of the carrier’s newest unlimited plans (AT&T Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite). Those plans include the ability to takeThe advantage of AT & T’s millimeter wave-based ultra-fast 5G network, which the company indicates with a 5G + icon, as opposed to regular 5G, which is slower than 5G +, and 5G E, which is not 5G at all. That’s good, because having to change your unlimited plan to a different unlimited plan just to take advantage of 5G is pointless.
While it’s difficult to say precisely when a specific customer will get the 5G upgrade, AT&T says it will text people to notify them when 5G is added to their plan. That said, it’s important to remember that people will already need to have a 5G-capable device and be located within the area covered by AT & T’s 5G network.
Following the addition of 5G to older unlimited consumer plans, AT&T will also expand 5G support to older unlimited commercial plans starting in April.
While AT&T adding 5G support to older plans may seem like a small favor for people with older plans, the move almost seems like an opportunity for Verizon, which earlier this week announced which will exclude customers on its less expensive metered and unlimited plans from accessing its 5G or 5G mmWave based on the C-band spectrum just purchased by Verizon.
Currently, it is not clear if AT&T will throttle 5G data after a certain point on those older unlimited plans, as they originally did not include pricing for 5G. Gizmodo has reached out to AT&T for clarification, and we will update the story if we receive a response.