AT&T has not yet launched the 12 mobile 5G markets targeted for 2018, but with only one month left in the year, the carrier today announced plan to add 19 additional AT&T 5G cities in 2019.

Even without 5G, the company expects to support speeds of 400 Mbps by year-end and nationwide next year using its 5G Evolution technology. And in 31 cities where AT&T has begun using LTE license assisted access (LTE-LAA) technology, the company expects to support “theoretical mobile speeds” up to a gigabit per second.

The news came from AT&T CEO John Donovan at an AT&T meeting with financial analysts today, which was also webcast.

5G Evolution is the brand name that AT&T uses for current generation wireless service augmented with technologies such as carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM. LTE-LAA is a technology that uses unlicensed spectrum to augment a carrier’s licensed spectrum holdings in order to boost the data speeds supported.

The highest mobile speeds will be offered in markets in which AT&T has rolled out service in all of its key spectrum bands, Donovan said.

Donovan didn’t name the 19 new AT&T 5G cities, but the company has already announced the first 12 cities targeted for this year, including Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, San Antonio, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, and Waco.

AT&T 5G Plans
AT&T sees 5G initially having the greatest appeal in the business market, Donovan said. The technology, he said, is “largely an enterprise play” – at least to start.

He noted, for example, that the company will provide 5G connectivity to support a robotic manufacturing plant for Samsung in Austin. In addition, he said AT&T is looking at 5G use cases involving vertical markets such as retail, healthcare, finance, education and public safety.

In a press release, AT&T noted that its mobility business represents nearly half of its adjusted EBITDA and about 40% of its revenues and that the company expects the mobility business unit to continue to deliver top- and bottom-line growth.

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