Do you hear that? It's the sound of thousands of 5G-related press releases furiously being typed in the run-up to CES and MWC 2019.
5G is undoubtedly going to be the biggest tech news story of next year, whether or not the consumer applications are ready. To that end, Sprint and HTC — two companies that are slowly fading into obscurity with each passing year — have announced an unnamed 5G "smart hub" that will be released in the first half of 2019, according to a press release.
The product, built in collaboration with Qualcomm, which is already trying to cement its dominance of 5G modems in the U.S., will reportedly "deliver multimedia and connected data capabilities in a compact and portable design." Like all other 5G products released in the first half of 2019, it will be powered by Qualcomm's X50 baseband, which combines high-speed LTE with the burgeoning 5G NR standard that will form the basis for all consumer products in the early days.
It's unclear exactly what a "smart hub" means in the context of 5G, but it's likely the HTC-built product will act as an internet hotspot for other LTE and 5G products, and may have a screen of its own to act as a basic Android tablet. Sprint says the device name, specs and release date will come at a later date.
Back in August, Sprint co-announced a 5G phone with LG, which is also slated to launch in the first half of 2019. The company's 5G network will launch first in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. and will utilize high-frequency millimeter wave spectrum along with Massive MIMO.
Sprint is also in the middle of a merger with T-Mobile which, if approved by U.S. regulators, would occur sometime in 2019 — right around the time both companies launch their respective 5G networks in earnest. It's going to be an interesting year.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
From the Editor's Desk: Navigating the Chromebook crunch of 2020
Chromebooks are wonderful little laptops for a great many people, but they're especially well-suited to children. Now if only retailers could keep them in stock this back-to-school season.
Here's every U.S. city with 5G coverage right now
5G deployment is moving fast and the list of cities with coverage is growing all the time. See if your U.S. city has coverage yet by Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T.
It's time to stop using SMS for two-factor authentication
Not all 2FA is equal. Using SMS to get a code might not be "better than nothing" after all.
These are the cheapest phones to try out 5G
5G is still pretty new and so are its phones but the prices have started to come down. These are the cheapest 5G phones you can buy right now.