AT&T Plans on Deploying Mobile 5G Network Before End of 2018

Like the other major wireless carriers in the United States, AT&T has been working on its own mobile 5G network plans, teasing its rollout since last year.

Ahead of that launch, AT&T has also been rolling out its “5G Evolution” network technology, which takes advantage of LTE-Advanced to allow for faster speeds on supported devices. That launched in Austin, Texas last year, and AT&T plans on rolling it out in Minneapolis, Minnesota, just in time for the upcoming Super Bowl LII.

But an actual 5G network, based on 3GPP’s completed standards, is the ultimate goal, and AT&T has just announced that it plans on launching the first rollout of its mobile 5G network in 12 different markets in the United States in “late 2018.” Unfortunately, that is all the detail that the Big Blue network was willing to share, so we don’t have an exact launch date, the specific markets, or even which devices will support the 5G network when it does go live.

While AT&T wasn’t willing to go into detail regarding the mobile 5G network rollout just yet, it did have good news for certain metro markets in the U.S. regarding its 5G Evolution technology. That will be expanding to 23 new markets shortly, which will give AT&T customers using supported devices even faster speeds as they wait for the full 5G network rollout later this year.

Here are the 23 new markets:

“We’ve been hard at work this past year laying the foundation for mobile 5G with the launch of 5G Evolution in 23 major metros; Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; Chicago; Fresno; Greenville, South Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Louisville; Memphis; Nashville; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Pittsburgh; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; Tulsa, Oklahoma and Sacramento, California offering immersive entertainment experiences like augmented and virtual reality while on the go.”

Our Take

It’s certainly good to have plans, and at least AT&T has the fact it has been rolling out LTE-Advanced support with 5G Evolution for a few months now, with even more markets joining the ranks soon. Laying down that groundwork will certainly help ahead of the mobile 5G rollout later this year. It will be interesting to see how T-Mobile’s, AT&T’s, and Verizon’s rollouts compare, especially with coverage, speeds, and more.

[via AT&T]