- AT&T is testing its 5G network in South Bend, IN, offering fixed wireless to several homes from the carrier’s full fiber broadband network and spectrum, AT&T president of technology and operations Melissa Arnoldi said in a blog post.
- South Bend residents have already seen top wireless speeds of almost 1 Gbps and latency rates of less than 20 milliseconds, according to Arnoldi's post.
- The trials follow 5G tests with businesses in Waco, TX and Kalamazoo, MI.
AT&T has been charging on 5G deployment; beyond its trials in some cities, the network in April said it would roll out “5G Evolution" technology in 117 markets in 24 states and Puerto Rico, which it says will help deploy the faster speed network, although critics are skeptical that the "evolution" technology means anything substantively. The company has also announced that Atlanta, Dallas and Waco would get standard-based mobile 5G by the end of the year, with a goal of introducing it in 12 cities by that time, according to ZD Net.
It’s part of the mobile industry’s arms sprint to be the leader in 5G, which would offer customers much higher speeds. Sprint, for example, has announced nine cities as part of its early 2019 rollout — including New York City, Kansas City, MO and Phoenix — while Verizon says it will be in some cities by the end of the year. It’s unclear if the fixed trials in South Bend represent AT&T surging in the field, since the company has been tepid on the prospects of fixed 5G in the past, reports Telecompetitor.
AT&T also announced last week that by adding South Bend to its fiber market, the carrier can reach nine million locations with its service of up to 1Gbps in speed. Among the other new locations announced are Bowling Green, KY; Florence, SC; Hattiesburg, MS; and Lake Charles, LA.