Waco among first cities to gain AT&T's 5G coverage in 2018

Ann Santiago
February 22, 2018

"We're working on an aggressive schedule to help ensure customers can enjoy mobile 5G when we launch the network this year", AT&T said. The company announced in January that it would roll out the wireless network to a dozen markets and start selling a mobile device for the next-generation network by the end of 2018.

"The fact remains that we are the only USA carrier that has committed to build a standards-based mobile 5G network in 2018", said an AT&T spokesperson in an email to Telecompetitor.

Mobile 5G is coming this year, and now we know the first cities that'll get it. They haven't backed off that claim and instead told us that parts of Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco will go live with mobile 5G.

AT&T and other carriers now do not offer 5G-capable mobile phones, according to CNN.

The initial mobile 5G deployments will based on 3GPP standards and operate over mmWave spectrum.

In the case of smartphones, the company plans to offer more 5G-compatible smartphones and mobile devices beginning in early 2019. Additional spectrum bands will be utilized for 5G later on. At launch, AT&T's system will seem more like a very fast Wi-Fi network than a replacement for cell networks.

Today's press release also touts AT&T's software defined network (SDN) and edge computing initiatives, which the carrier said will be critical to its 5G plans.

While AT&T senior vice president Igal Elbaz wrote in a statement that the company is progressing its 5G network "much sooner than most people thought possible", folks shouldn't hold their breath for a full-scale 5G overhaul from the company this year.

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