(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc. has switched on its 5G service in 10 markets, including the biggest cities in California, as it jockeys with Verizon Communications Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. to build a next-generation network.

Millions of customers in places such as Los Angeles, San Diego and Pittsburgh can now access the service, AT&T said in a statement Friday. But users will have to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ to take advantage of the new network. AT&T is selling the phone for as little as $350 to consumers who meet certain qualifications and trade in an old device.

It will take time before 5G is a must-have for most consumers. It’s still unavailable in most of the country, and the current version of 5G doesn’t offer the kinds of speeds that carriers hope to eventually achieve. The initial 5G rollout uses so-called low-band spectrum, delivering performance that’s comparable to the current AT&T network.

AT&T markets with 5G access include:

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Milwaukee
  • Pittsburgh
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Rochester, New York
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose, California

“We believe 5G technology will be game-changing, and we continue to help drive this next wave of innovation,” Scott Mair, head of AT&T’s technology operations, said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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