The Galaxy S22 line will be the first phones to support AT&T's latest 5G network – CNET


Richard Peterson/CNET

The Galaxy S22 could solely simply be official, however it already has a lot going for it. Whereas this may increasingly not seize the headlines, it is value noting the brand new telephones’ help for the most recent 5G networks — one thing that can be notably essential for AT&T customers. 

This yr has already began seeing some huge 5G upgrades from Verizon and AT&T, and the S22 will help new C-band networks on each suppliers. Final yr’s S21 telephones (alongside the latest Galaxy Z sequence and iPhone 12 and 13 strains) additionally supported C-band. What’s totally different and essential for these with AT&T is that the S22 line is the primary to help the service’s different midband 5G community that’s coming on-line later this yr. 

This community won’t be as fancy (or with the identical airline-related drama) as C-band, however it’s equally vital. AT&T spent $9.1 billion on this new spectrum and can start deploying it nationwide for 5G over the subsequent few months. This could enable for a noticeably quicker expertise and, like C-band, it is anticipated to supply obtain speeds of a number of hundred megabits per second, with peaks of 1 gigabit per second. 

AT&T plans to cowl 200 million folks over its midband spectrum — each C-band and three.45GHz — by the top of subsequent yr. 

T-Cell additionally plans to incorporate help for C-band and three.45GHz in its S22 telephones, however the want for it to help both one is not as urgent as it’s for AT&T. Because the service already has a sturdy midband 5G community that current telephones can connect with, it will not be including these specific flavors till 2023. T-Cell additionally permits for financing a brand new cellphone over 24 months, a full yr shorter than AT&T.  

The issue for AT&T customers, no less than till now, is the gadget help. Not like with C-band, AT&T shouldn’t be committing to upgrading older pre-2022 telephones to help 3.45GHz 5G. “We’re not saying nothing [for older devices] however at this level, that is not within the plan proper now,” Chris Sambar, AT&T’s government vp of expertise operations, instructed CNET final month. “Does not imply we will not go backwards, however at this level no.” 

The addition of C-band for older units doubtless comes from the truth that different telephones internationally use an analogous frequency band for 5G. Main telephones bought within the US typically have already got the mandatory {hardware} and simply want a software program replace to allow it.  

That lack of dedication for 3.45GHz, nonetheless, signifies that in case you’re shopping for a brand new Galaxy S21, Galaxy Z Fold 3 and even an iPhone 13, you in all probability will not be capable to faucet into the complete AT&T community expertise at this level. Possibly that is not a giant deal proper now, however with AT&T’s affords typically requiring a 36-month dedication, it is one thing that may develop into irritating in a yr or two as AT&T’s 5G community matures. 

Sambar says that “the most important flagship units in 2022, the massive units from the massive OEMs” may have 3.45GHz help “beginning this yr and going ahead.” At present that listing solely consists of Samsung’s Galaxy S22 line. 

Whereas it stays to be seen how the S22 fares in our evaluation, the truth that it should help AT&T’s 5G flavors ought to make it extra interesting and value higher consideration versus different Android choices. 

Leave a Comment