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Netgear Nighthawk mobile hotspot brings 5G to existing devices

The AT&T Netgear Nighthawk mobile hotspot launches today to anyone who is looking to bring 5G speeds to their existing devices. It follows an earlier limited rollout of a less-capable 5G mobile hotspot back in 2018…

The latest device supports both sub-6GHz 5G and the much faster but shorter-range mmWave 5G. Any device can connect to it via Wi-Fi in order to get access to the 5G connection.

CNET reports that it will be available to buy outright or on a 30-month interest-free installment plan from Friday.

Called the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro, the device will be available on Sept. 18 for $510, or $17 per month on a 30-month installment plan. The new Nighthawk will be able to access AT&T’s full 5G portfolio including its nationwide low-band service as well as the faster millimeter-wave 5G network that is available in parts of 35 cities.  

Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 Mobile Platform, the puck-shaped device includes a touchscreen, 5,040-mAh battery and can broadcast to up to 32 different devices at once over the Wi-Fi 6 standard. Ports include USB-C and Ethernet if you want to directly connect the hotspot to a device. 

5G data plans start at $60 per month.

Hotspot plans start at 15GB of data for $60 per month or 35GB of data $85 per month (you can save $10 per month if you sign up for automatic payments and paperless billing). There is, however, an overage fee of $10 for each additional 2GB of data if you go over your chosen allotment.

The device can be powered by mains for use at home, or by battery for mobile use, and slips easily into a bag, or a larger pocket.

Netgear suggests that it can be used as a home broadband service.

If Fiber, DSL, or Cable Internet speeds are not optimal in your area, 5G can be more reliable as your primary Internet connection. Simply connect your Nighthawk M5 Mobile Router to your existing home router to deliver 5G speeds throughout your home.

That might work for those with relatively light bandwidth needs, but would quickly get expensive for those who use their broadband connection for streaming video, video calling, and online games.

5G mobile hotspots are likely to prove popular with those who want fast data connections while mobile in places where reliable and decent-speed WiFi isn’t available. RV owners often use mobile hotspot devices to provide WiFi in their vehicles.

You can see AT&T’s promo video below.

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