Yesterday, AT&T announced that they will be “the first U.S. mobile company to introduce mobile 5G service in a dozen markets by late 2018”.
The service has stated that its 5G service will be based on industry standards, noting that it will remain focused on the “long-term vision” of 5G. As of yet, the company has not said which markets it will launch mobile 5G in but it is expected that normal metropolitan areas will get it first.
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. We’re confident this latest standards milestone will allow us to bring 5G to market faster without compromising its long-term vision.
More specific information has not yet been released although in the past AT&T has been criticised by T-Mobile for the inaccurate use of 5G branding. It’s also unclear as to which devices will support this type of technology or what speeds the network will be capable of providing.
AT&T has said that it plans to roll out its faster LTE-LAA network to “at least two dozen” additional markets this year but, again, the specifics remain unclear. In 2017, the company started to roll out its 5G Evolution network that reached 23 markets and in addition to their mobile 5G this year it plans to bring 5G Evolution to “hundreds” of additional metro areas.
You can read AT&T’s full press release regarding this new technology on their website here.