Sprint and HTC will release a 5G hotspot in 2019

The 'mobile smart hub' promises gigabit data for all your devices.

Sprint isn't pinning all its 5G hopes on a single LG smartphone. The carrier has announced plans to release an HTC-made 5G "mobile smart hub" sometime in the first half of 2019. The two are saying precious little about the hotspot device, but it'll use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 modem to provide gigabit-class data speeds (including 'legacy' LTE) to multiple gadgets. In other words, Sprint is following the classic network rollout strategy: it's using a portable router as an interim solution until there are more phones, tablets and PCs with the technology built-in.

The Sprint 5G network is still due to go live in the first half of 2019, with nine cities (including New York City, Los Angeles and Phoenix) confirmed so far. You'll have to live in the right place to make the most of HTC's hardware, then. And there's a larger question looming over the hotspot: what happens to it if T-Mobile's purchase of Sprint goes through? It isn't likely to become obsolete right away, but you may have to upgrade sooner than you expected if there are significant network changes.