AT&T Aiming to Launch 5G Mobile Services by Late 2018

AT&T is planning to become the first major U.S. company to introduce mobile 5G services by late 2018. The promise of mobile 5G is seemingly endless and the telecom giant is now moving fast to make this promise a reality. To reach this ambitious milestone, AT&T has taken a different approach to transforming its network. AT&T 5G services will be based on industry standards for 5G.

Because of its push for 5G standards acceleration, 3GPP, the international wireless standards body, completed key elements of 5G new radio (NR) standards last month. With these specifications now available, hardware, chipset and device manufacturers can start development. This allows companies to provide mobile 5G services sooner. In addition to plans for offering mobile 5G to consumers this year, AT&T expects to trial 5G technology with businesses of all sizes across industries to help them to transform business operations and create more engaging experiences for their customers.

As standards continue to develop, 5G will advance and won't just be about faster speeds on phones. It will also mean much lower latency, which will be enhanced by a new range of applications utilizing edge computing. AT&T expects future 5G technologies to eventually allow future driverless vehicles to make real-time decisions based on information that goes beyond the individual sensors onboard the vehicle itself. Vehicles will be able to "see" around corners, through other vehicles, and at longer distances. This will enable vehicles to quickly make sense of their environment and help guide safe operations on the road.

AT&T is also working keenly on other areas to provide seamless future connectivity including:

LTE

In 2017, the company turbo-charged its LTE network and deployed advanced features in all of its markets, which greatly enhanced coverage and capacity. It was also the first to launch LTE-LAA and expect to launch the technology in at least 2 dozen additional metros this year.

AT&T 5G Evolution

The company laid 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. While rolling out mobile 5G in 2018, they also plan to continue to enhance their network with 5G Evolution technology in hundreds of additional metro areas.

LTE-M

AT&T deployed nationwide low-power wide-area LTE-M network in the U.S. in 2017.  Plus, Mexico's first LTE-M network is now network ready, creating the first North American LTE-M footprint. LTE-M supports large-scale Internet of Things solutions, like smart city services, smart metering, asset tracking, supply chain management, security and alarm monitoring, and personal wearables. It offers extended battery life, lower-cost modules, improved coverage underground and deep inside buildings and carrier-grade security. With these advantages, LTE-M is already spurring innovation such as the AT&T LTE-M Button and enabling devices to be connected that were not possible before.

Fixed Wireless Internet

In 2017, the company brought high-speed internet access to over 440,000 locations across 18 states in mostly rural areas through technologies like Fixed Wireless Internet, as part of the FCC Connect America Fund. In 2018, it plans to reach over 660,000 total locations and 1.1 million locations by the end of 2020 in those 18 states. As a leader in the development and implementation of Fixed Wireless Internet, they’re laying the foundation for the future of how they’ll bring consumer and business customers’ faster high-quality internet over a combination of wireless and wired connections, particularly in previously hard to reach locations.

Fixed 5G and AirGig

Last year, AT&T also launched pre-standards 5G fixed wireless trials in Austin, Texas; Waco, Texas; Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana with residential, small business, and education customers. It also launched 2 Project AirGig trials, its innovative technology offering transport for ultra-fast low latency internet over power lines. One was in Georgia and the other international.

Fiber for Consumers and Businesses

In 2017, the company reached more than 7 million locations across 67 metros nationwide where it markets its ultra-fast low-latency internet service powered by AT&T Fiber. In 2018, it plans to add 3 million more locations on its path to reach at least 12.5 million locations across at least 82 metro areas by mid-2019. New metros areas where it plans to bring 100% fiber network include Amarillo, Texas; Beaumont, Texas; Evansville, Indiana; Gainesville, Florida; Panama City, Florida; Springfield, Missouri and Waco, Texas.

On its fastest internet service, AT&T Internet 1000, one can download 25 songs in 1 second, a TV show in 4 seconds or an HD movie in less than 34 seconds. Additionally, AT&T is the largest U.S.-based provider of fiber for business services with more than 8 million business customer locations either on or within 1,000 feet of our fiber. An ultra-fast internet connection powered by AT&T Fiber lets to easily telecommute, videoconference, upload and download large files and connect faster to the cloud.

G.fast

In 2017, the company began offering internet speeds up to 500 megabits per second with G.fast for multifamily properties across 8 metro areas outside of its 21-state traditional service area. They’ve also announced plans to give consumers a new choice for internet in apartment communities in an additional 14 metro areas areas. This year, they plan to launch G.fast to apartment communities within the 21-state footprint. It allows providing residents in existing multifamily properties an ultra-high speed internet connection without placing new home run inside wire, making it a breeze to upgrade an apartment building to stream live video on DIRECTV NOW and more.