- AT&T has confirmed three of the 12 cities that will receive its standards-based, mobile 5G network by the end of 2018: Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, TX. The company said the nine other cities will be announced "in the coming months."
- The company's 5G service will be based on 3GPP standards and operate over mmWave spectrum, according to a statement. The network is intended to "seamlessly integrate" with current LTE technologies, though it is unclear which specific devices will first receive the 5G treatment, as reported by Engadget.
- AT&T reports it is "the only U.S. carrier that’s announced plans to deliver this ground-breaking technology to its customers in 2018."
AT&T has been touting its 5G network for more than a year and announced in August that it would deploy 5G trials in Kalamazoo, MI, South Bend, IN and Waco, TX — therefore it's no surprise that Waco was selected as one of the markets for AT&T to launch the network. While it is unclear which other cites will be selected for the rollout, both Kalamazoo and South Bend are safe bets, as is Austin, considering the company just announced it will open a 5G testing lab in that city.
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. AT&T is working aggressively to deploy 5G, however it was made clear 5G will only be rolled out in "parts" of the announced and soon-to-be announced cities. Additionally, it has been made clear this initial deployment is for mobile 5G only — not the all-encompassing 5G network that will infiltrate healthcare or transportation industries and potentially add $500 billion to the economy. That level of 5G is likely years away, though mobile 5G is a promising place to start.
AT&T isn't the only carrier aggressively racing toward 5G deployments. Verizon announced in December it would roll out 5G residential broadband internet in up to five cities this year, Qualcomm has positioned itself as a 5G leader, and CNX is partnering with Knoxville, TN to deploy 5G tech through a plan that will be delivered by the end of March.