Wednesday, 17 January 2018

AT&T to launch 5G in 12 US cities by late 2018

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Thursday 04 January 18

AT&T is yet to provide specific details of the types of services that will be included in its 5G roll out later this year

AT&T will launch 5G services in 12 US cities later this year, making it the first operator to roll out fifth generation services, according to a company statement.  While AT&T is yet to specify which 12 cities will be first to receive 5G, the company said that it expected to begin rolling services out by "…

AT&T will launch 5G services in 12 US cities later this year, making it the first operator to roll out fifth generation services, according to a company statement.  While AT&T is yet to specify which 12 cities will be first to receive 5G, the company said that it expected to begin rolling services out by "late 2018".

"To make this happen, we were one of the key drivers for standards acceleration last year. Because of that acceleration, 3GPP, the international wireless standards body, completed key elements of 5G new radio (NR) standards last month. With these specifications now available, hardware, chipset and device manufacturers can start development.

This allows us to provide mobile 5G services sooner," said AT&T in a statement to the press. 

The move to publicly commit to delivering 5G services by 2018 puts AT&T in a race with other US operators (namely T-Mobile US and Verizon) to upgrade and develop its infrastructure across the US. A recent report by Bloomberg suggests that the US telecoms industry as a whole will need to spend around $200 billion to make its infrastructure 5G ready. 

Despite the high price tag, AT&T is rushing ahead to be the first US operator to roll out 5G services. 

“We’re moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more,” said Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology and Operations.

AT&T has not yet provided specific details of the 5G services it will provide in 2018, and it remains to be seen whether this launch will constitute a genuine 5G roll out or whether customers will be provided with a 4G plus (or even 4G plus plus) experience, as they were in mid-2017 when the company launched its 5G Evolution programme. 

 
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