AT&T Extends 5G Access To Legacy Unlimited Plans, Plots Mid-Band Speed Upgrades

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AT&T today announced some big news for customers on its unlimited plans. The wireless industry is swiftly moving to 5G wireless technology and is working to blanket the United States with high-speed coverage (some carriers are having better luck than others with that initiative). AT&T says that it is now extending 5G access to all its customers that are on legacy unlimited data plans.

According to the company, access to its 5G and 5G+ networks will now be available at no additional cost to these customers. AT&T's announcement is both welcome and, at the same time, quite comical considering how carriers have obfuscated the meaning of "unlimited" data when it relates to their wireless plans.

For example, these are the legacy plans that AT&T says are currently eligible for 5G and 5G+ access:

  • AT&T Unlimited & More
  • AT&T Unlimited & More Premium
  • AT&T Unlimited Choice
  • AT&T Unlimited Choice II
  • AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced
  • AT&T Unlimited Plus
  • AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced
  • AT&T Unlimited Value
  • AT&T Unlimited

Why in the world does a carrier need nine different unlimited data plans? We know that many of these plans have been pushed aside over the years, but simpler is better. And that's not even counting AT&T's three current unlimited plans:

  • AT&T Unlimited Starter
  • AT&T Unlimited Extra
  • AT&T Unlimited Elite

For those that aren't in the know, AT&T 5G refers to the company's sub-6GHz spectrum, while 5G+ refers to the company's high-speed mmWave network, which can top 1Gbps+.

Also, AT&T said that it managed to capture 80MHz of spectrum during the government's C-band auction and plans to put its mid-band spectrum to use starting at the end of 2021. Not only will this bring faster speeds to more Americans, but it should expand 5G availability. At the moment, AT&T says that its existing 5G network covers 230 million Americans. As for its more exotic 5G+ network, it's currently accessible in 38 U.S. cities.

"From our fiber network backbone to the layers of wireless spectrum technology, we provide 5G network coverage that delivers the speeds, security and lower latency connections that customers and businesses need," said AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh. "Over the past five years, AT&T has invested more capital in the U.S. than any other public company."

Hopefully, these updates will make the 5G experience better for AT&T customers as availability expands across the United States.