Earlier this year, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson revealed that the wireless carrier wants to bring 5G connectivity to customers in the form of 5G hotspots before phones are able to handle such speeds. It appears that this might be the case.
According to Bloomberg, Verizon will be joining AT&T in releasing a portable 5G hotspot this year for those that want to gain access to 5G speeds as soon as possible, and don't want to wait for phones to come out. In an interview at Mobile World Congress, Verizon wireless chief Ronan Dunne said:
“I would expect that there are a range of handsets available in 2019 and some of those will be in the first half of 2019. If there's anything available in 2018, it's more likely to be a hotspot.”
Bloomberg didn't provide any more details about the 5G pucks, but you shouldn't be surprised that carriers are looking to release them. Both Verizon and AT&T will be making 5G internet available this year. For AT&T, the carrier is bringing 5G connection to 12 cities, but at this time, there are no phones that will take can take advantage of those speeds.
Huawei at this time is working on a 5G-capable phone and intends to launch it before anyone else, don't expect to see the phone appear in the US. Both AT&T and Verizon recently Huawei the brand due to concerns over Chinese government spying. Aside from Huawei, ZTE is also working on its own 5G phone, but it will not be available until the end of 2018.