HTC 5G Hub Pre-orders live on Sprint
One of the main promises of 5G is bringing ultra-fast internet to homes. Instead of laying fiber cable underground, which is extremely costly and time-consuming, ISPs can set up 5G towers instead. HTC announced a product at Mobile World Congress designed just for that use case — the simply-named '5G Hub.
The HTC 5G Hub is a tablet-shaped device with a Snapdragon 855 processor, intended to serve primarily as a 5G hotspot. Up to 20 devices can connect at once, and there's an Ethernet port on the back for wired internet connections. The Hub also runs Android 9 Pie, but it's unclear if the Play Store is available.
HTC claims the 5G Hub is "at the forefront of cloud-based virtual reality (VR) technology, because "users will be able to stream VR content from the cloud to a VIVE Focus headset via the HTC 5G Hub." The Vive Focus is a self-contained headset with Wi-Fi support, so there (presumably) doesn't need to be any special functionality for the Focus to connect to the hub. By HTC's logic, the 5G Hub will also be at the forefront of cloud-based food technology, because you could connect a smart refrigerator to it.
In the United States, the 5G Hub will be exclusively sold by Sprint. In other countries, HTC is partnering with Telstra, Three UK, Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Sunrise (Switzerland), and Elisa (Finland).
You can pre-order an HTC 5G Hub from Sprint starting today. It will cost you $12.50 per month for the hardware, which is a 50% discount on the full cost. The 5G data plan for this device costs $60 per month and comes with a 100GB cap. Sprint will only sell this device if you live in one of its initial 5G markets: Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Kansas City.