While airports are probably not the busiest places now because of the pandemic, there are still a lot of people that go through them every day because of necessary travel. That’s why AT&T has decided to equip several U.S. airports with their 5G network, beginning with Tampa International Airport in Florida, right before the Super Bowl LV this coming February. This is part of the carrier’s efforts to bring 5G to a wider market, although this is more of a temporary or rather transitory kind of audience.
The competition for the best 5G service has been heating up among the carriers but this time, AT&T has targeted not the usual residential or business establishments but domestic and international airports. Choosing to bring 5G first to Tampa International Airport isn’t random as they are expecting heavy (or at least heavier) traffic this February because of the Super Bowl. Well, if it actually pushes through given the current pandemic situation.
Having 5G connection at the airport for passengers and customers will most probably be for entertainment purposes, while waiting for their flights or rides. Since some also work in between their flights, this can also be used for productivity purposes like answering emails and even joining conference calls and video meetings. And if there are no limitations as to what sites you can access, you can even binge a few episodes on your favorite streaming service.
But of course, not all who pass through the airport will be able to access 5G. Obviously, only those with 5G-capable smartphones will be able to enjoy the network. More importantly, only those with qualified AT&T unlimited plans will be able to connect. Those who are on the AT&T Unlimited Elite plan will be able to get free access to HBO Max so you can download an entire season of your favorite show to watch it on the plane.
AT&T did not give a specific timeline but they did say it’s a multi-year effort so we can expect regular roll-outs and additions to airports over the next few years. For now, if you meet the above criteria, you can try it out at the Tampa International Airport if you’re passing by Florida anytime soon.