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AT&T brings its 5G network and the iPhone 12 to Delta flight attendants

The phones can provide augmented reality training and inventory, AT&T says.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert

New phones are coming to the skies.

Delta Air Lines

AT&T said Wednesday it will supply all 19,000 Delta Air Lines flight attendants with iPhone 12 devices so they can use AT&T's 5G network in an effort to improve the travel experience. Augmented reality on the phones is expected to help the flight attendants assess inventory onboard planes and train newer staff members in safety checks and passenger assistance.

Delta will work alongside AT&T and Apple to develop more ways to use the iPhone 12, the airline said in a release Wednesday. Delta said the deal makes it "the first 5G-equipped global airline."

Read more: Want that iPhone 12 with 5G? These are the plans you'll need at each of the carriers

The partnership with Delta will "create new 5G-enabled experiences on iPhone 12 to fuel and invigorate the commercial airline industry," Rasesh Patel, AT&T Business chief product and platform officer, said in a statement.

AT&T will boost its 5G coverage later this year as it adds recently acquired wireless spectrum to the network. AT&T's 5G network now covers more than 230 million people across the US.

You can check out a map of AT&T's current 5G coverage here.