Five additional launch cities were announced today, joining seven already announced AT&T 5G markets. They include Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, and San Antonio.
AT&T plans to launch mobile 5G in parts of these cities, which will join Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, and Waco, making 12 markets as initial AT&T 5G markets. The company has made several announcements of 5G markets in recent months and now has revealed all 12 markets planned for this year.
AT&T is using the term mobile a little loosely, given the service will be delivered via a personal ‘MiFi’ hotspot device initially, which smartphones can connect to via WiFi. True 5G enabled smartphones aren’t expected until late 2019, and will be in limited supply. Widespread availability isn’t expected until 2020.
5G Data Transmission Test
In addition to the AT&T 5G markets, the carrier also announced a successful test of a 5G data transfer over millimeter wave spectrum using standards-based, production equipment. The test involved a Qualcomm Technologies’ smartphone form factor test device featuring a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X50 5G modem. Additionally, an RF subsystem and Ericsson 5G-NR capable radios connected to AT&T’s virtual 3X standards compliant core were involved.
“Not a lab. Not preproduction hardware. Not emulators. And fully compliant with global standards,” AT&T boasts in a press release announcing the results of the test.
”We’re at the dawn of something new that will define the next decade and generation of connectivity,” said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer, AT&T Communications. In the press release. “Future smart factories and retailers, self-driving cars, untethered virtual and augmented realities, and other yet to be discovered experiences will grow up on tomorrow’s 5G networks.
Claims and announcements regarding 5G firsts by carriers are at somewhat of a fevered pitch as we move towards the end of the year. Both AT&T and Verizon are battling to claim the “first to launch” crown, while T-Mobile and Sprint cite “first” 5G technology breakthroughs.
Given this week’s Mobile World Congress Americas tradeshow, taking place in Los Angeles, the 5G publicity battle should be on full display.