5G to the Edge: AT&T set to Debut Mobile 5G in 2018

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Mobile 5G Services to Become Reality for Consumers and Businesses This Year in a Dozen Cities

AT&T is looking forward to be the first U.S. company to introduce mobile 5G service in a dozen markets by late 2018. The promise of mobile 5G is seemingly endless and we’re moving fast to make that promise a reality.

To reach this ambitious milestone, we’ve taken a different approach to transforming our network. AT&T 5G services will be based on industry standards for 5G. To make this happen, we were one of the key drivers for standards acceleration last year.

Because of that 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.

“5G will change the way we live, work and enjoy entertainment,” said Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology and Operations. “We’re moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more.”

In addition to plans for offering mobile 5G to consumers this year, we expect 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.

Taking 5G to the edge

As standards continue to develop, 5G will advance and won’t just be about faster speeds on your phone. It will also mean much lower latency, which will be enhanced by a new range of applications utilizing edge computing.

A quick primer: latency refers to how long it takes for the network to recognize you’ve requested a chunk of data and to start sending you that data. For example, it’s the brief delay between the moment you press play on a streaming video app and the moment the video shows up on your screen.

AT&T expects future 5G technologies will 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 5G Evolution

AT&T has been hard at work this past year laying 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.

Fixed Wireless Internet

In 2017, AT&T 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.

Fixed 5G and AirGig

Last year, the company 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, offering transport for ultra-fast low latency internet over power lines. One was in Georgia and the other international.