AT&T has announced that it will be expanding its launch plans for its 5G network to five additional cities this year. Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans and San Antonio will join Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh and Waco as the cities which can expect the carrier’s 5G solution.
Over the weekend, in Waco, Texas, working with our key technology collaborators, we made the world’s first wireless 5G data transfer over millimeter wave using standards-based, production equipment with a mobile form factor device. Not a lab. Not preproduction hardware. Not emulators. And fully compliant with global standards.
The news is good as the Dallas, Texas based company has been making a lot of announcements around 5G for most of this year. Other carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile are also heavily ramping up their 5G efforts too.
The strategy AT&T is using to reply 5G is well laid out in the announcement. The company is focusing on using millimeter wave spectrum to deploy 5G in densely populated areas. These are areas were demands for their network is high and extra capacity is needed most. In other areas such as suburbans and rural areas, they will be deploying 5G on their mid and low-band spectrum.
Obviously the challenge in all of this is the fact that there are no 5G compatible phones. That fact likely won’t change until 2019 and there is no expectation that the lineup of new iPhones set to be announced this week will have 5G. Given the current spat between Qualcomm, who makes the X50 5G modem, and Apple, it is likely the Cupertino company will turn to Intel for its 5G modem needs when the time is right.