NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot [Photo: Courtesy of AT & T]

You'll hear a lot of claims about "5G firsts" as the leading telecom Businesses hurl it to deliver the next generation of wireless. And one just came from AT & T.

The company says it has successfully completed the world's "first millimeter-wave" 5G connection over a live network to the commercially available "standards-based" commercial 5G mobile device.

Does your eyes just cross each other? Let's break that a little bit first.

So, 5G is the next generation of wireless technology that is likely to take the technology to a new level. So today's tech-based reality will look more like cars and smart cities in our favorite sci-fi movies. And some of the small steps will probably start with smarter, faster phones running on 5G networks.

The AT & T test used a NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot instead of a 5G mobile phone. You know, the device to which a phone or tablet is connected to access Wi-Fi. AT & T's test was completed in Waco, Texas, where AT & T becomes the first airline in the US

Other cities announced earlier this year include Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Raleigh and San Antonio, another 19 are scheduled for early 2019.

While With AT & T concentrating on 5G, competitor Verizon is embarking on another 5G strategy, essentially a replacement for broadband in-house, called "landline wireless".

Of course, there's a lot of hype around all of this. David Christopher, president of AT & T Mobility and Entertainment, called the news a "groundbreaking moment in the evolution of mobile 5G technology."

These are actually early times for 5G, the frantic speed combined with faster network responsiveness and low latency. In no case will this massive rollout of 5G take place overnight, which means that the groundbreaking promises you'll hear about – from remote operations to self-driving cars – are likely to go well into the next decade.

You'll Begin 5G phones to hit the market next year

Carl Pei, co-founder of Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, said his company would be one of the first to deliver such a handset in 2019. The company is rumored to be winning its next device – a 4G smartphone called the OnePlus 6T, which is expected to be announced on Monday – to win a US provider that is considered T-Mobile.

T-Mobile of course has its own ambitions for 5G, with or without a merger partner (pending Uncle Sam's approval) Sprint

To further complicate the marketing battlefield, Sprint and LG announced earlier this year that the two of they would team up with Sprint's first 5G phone to be released in the first half of 2019.

All this is a long way from October 13, 1983 – the date AT & T is only too happy to recall. when it merged Ameritech Mobile Communications to launch the country's first commercial mobile phone service in Chicago.

While each of the carriers is fighting for the various 5G "premieres", none of this is really important until actual people get their hands on their hands and have access to the networks. In other words, most of you will wait a while.

Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow USA TODAY Personal Tech Columnist @edbaig on Twitter

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