AT&T Requires iPhone 14 for Best 5G Service Despite Previous Promise

AT&T is on the cusp of angering several 5G smartphone owners as the company says “older devices” won’t support the newer 3.45Ghz midband 5G. With that, only iPhone 14 owners and some other 5G phone customers can take advantage of this new band.

As reported by CNETafter spending more than $9 billion to acquire the 3.45Ghz spectrum, AT&T returned its promise that it would upgrade older devices to support this new band, and it now says it will be limited to hosting of some newer devices in 2022 – spoiler, it won’t include the iPhone SE 3.

With that in mind, the publication got the hands of Jim Greer, AT&T’s assistant vice president of corporate communications, which devices will benefit from this new band:

  • Samsung Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra;
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 ;
  • Samsung Z-fold4;
  • iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max;
  • The hotspots of Netgear Nighthawk M6 and Nighthawk M6 Pro.

CNET stresses that while 5G smartphone owners can use AT&T’s 5G network, they will not be able to take advantage of this band where “the carrier plans to use both 3.45Ghz and C-band to provide a stronger mid-band network.” across the country, something people with incompatible phones won’t be able to experience.”

Chris Sambar, AT&T’s Executive Vice President Network, previously told CNET that while not every mobile site will have access to both 3.45GHz and C-band, the “majority” will get both bands.

The publication adds that AT&T will still sell some older 5G phones, and it’s unclear whether the carrier will explain to existing and new customers that these smartphones won’t be able to connect to the company’s entire 5G network.


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