This story was originally published and last updated .
Amid an economy-crushing pandemic, AT&T decided that now was a good time to send a scaremongering email to many of its customers, claiming that their phone "is not compatible with the new network and you need to replace it to continue receiving service." The email conveniently omits that this message is regarding a change that won't take place until February 2022, providing only a link that later calls out this change linked to the decommissioning of AT&T's legacy 3G network.
Following yesterday's snafu, AT&T has taken today to announce "nationwide availability" for its 5G network, which covers around 63% of the US population thanks to the addition of 40 new markets. Celebrating this slightly arbitrary milestone, the company is bringing 5G access to all of its current "Unlimited" plans starting August 7th. Cricket customers will also get access to 5G on August 21st.
This week, AT&T began sending out an email that (rather misleadingly) told a large number of its subscribers that their phones would stop working on the network soon, and that they needed to upgrade. Straight up: this email is mostly BS. It's authentic, and AT&T sent it, but the action they're recommending you take — namely, buying a new phone — is not something you need to do for at least another 18 months, if not longer or potentially at all. Here's what you need to know.
As we settle into mid-2020, 5G has soundly made its presence felt in markets stretching all across the US. What started off as extremely patchy deployment has been getting better, fast, as carriers both bring 5G support to new regions and switch on new frequencies to improve the quality of coverage. But the rapidly changing shape of the 5G landscape has also made it really annoying to keep of what kind of connectivity you can expect from what carriers, where. That's why we're taking a look at the availability of 5G in the US: where it is now, where it's coming next, and how to get it.
Verizon has agreed to pull advertisements that falsely imply its tiny 5G network is available nationwide. Two TV ads have been criticized by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the BBB National Programs, the non-profit focused on industry-self regulation. The commercials in question were challenged by AT&T, which hasn't always been honest about 5G itself, advertising its "5Ge" network that's nothing but plain ol' 4G.
It was bound to be another summer of Samsung budget smartphones and, by golly, we've got more to add to the list. The Galaxy A51 and A71 still await their 5G-enabled counterparts, but we do have widespread availability now of the Galaxy A11 and A21.
WarnerMedia, and its parent company AT&T, is not the best with branding. There were once three individual HBO apps, each catering to a specific use case, but now the company is attempting to consolidate them across all platforms.
A massive outage affecting T-Mobile's network has resolved overnight, with President of Technology Neville Ray claiming that service was finally fully restored around 1AM ET, following almost a day of widespread issues. Though reports came in for issues on all three big US carriers, AT&T and Verizon claim their networks were operating as usual.