The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop the inevitable rollout of 5G networks, it just slowed it down a bit. Network operators, however, have started picking up the pace, especially now that the need for faster Internet has never been greater, exactly because of that pandemic. AT&T, for example, is continuing its rollout of 5G services but its latest targets aren’t residential or even business establishments but airports instead.
It seems strange that AT&T would start putting its 5G networks in airports considering how travel is being restricted or discouraged in different parts of the country. Still, airports can’t really close down and some people do have to risk going through them. When they do, they will at least be able to enjoy the comforts and distractions of AT&T’s 5G Internet.
AT&T is planning to put 5G in select airport major gates and concession spaces across the US but its first stop is at the Tampa International Airport in Florida. This isn’t a random selection and coincides with an expected heavy influx of travelers in the coming weeks because of the Super Bowl LV in February.
Unsurprisingly, the main use case for providing 5G connectivity at these airports is for entertainment, whiling away the time waiting for your flight or your ride. That said, passengers and customers can also use that time to communicate with family and friends before they leave or maybe even do some much-needed work while still on the ground.
Not everyone will be able to take advantage of the fast speeds that this 5G network promises, of course. In addition to owning a 5G-capable phone, only AT&T subscribers with qualifying unlimited plans will be able to hop onto it. And those paying for AT&T Unlimited Elite also get an HBO Max perk free of charge.