This is the year 12 lucky cities in the US will experience standards-based mobile 5G from AT&T (NYSE: T), making it the first carrier in the country to do so.
AT&T 5G Rollout Cities
The announcement comes just two months after AT&T carried out its first fixed wireless trial at Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco. And not surprisingly, Waco is one of the 12 cities which will take part in the deployment by the end of 2018. Parts of Atlanta and Dallas along with Waco will be the first three cities for the deployment.
Small businesses, such as Magnolia Market, will benefit greatly from the fast speeds, low latency and capabilities requiring the persistent internet connection of 5G. The technology is going to allow owners to increase their digital capability and presence by deploying more services and interactive rich media content.
The standard-based 5G identification is meant to distinguish services such as AT&T’s own “5G Evolution” and others like it from other carriers which are not true 5G. The new deployments will be based on 3GPP standards and operate over mmWave spectrum.
Igal Elbaz, senior vice president of Wireless Network Architecture, and Design, said in a press release, “After significantly contributing to the first phase of 5G standards, conducting multi-city trials, and literally transforming our network for the future, we’re planning to be the first carrier to deliver standards-based mobile 5G — and do it much sooner than most people thought possible.”
Hitting Peak Speeds and Devices
The theoretical peak speeds of 5G approach multiple gigabits per second, and AT&T says it expects to reach those speeds and the lower latency rates the technology offers as the network grows. But in order to experience these capabilities, new smartphones have to hit the market.
The announcement from AT&T comes before the availability of consumer 5G devices. The Verge has reported Qualcomm is working with phone companies and carriers to release 5G devices in 2019. This, of course, doesn’t match AT&T’s timeline for the trials, so both sides will have to coordinate their launch with more thought.