AT&T Adds 5 Cities to its 2018 Mobile 5G Launch Plan

AT&T announced plans on Monday to introduce mobile 5G service in parts of five additional cities, bringing the number of cities that will receive service this year to 12.

The announcement, which came a day before Verizon announced plans to launch 5G home broadband service in parts of four cities on October 1, added Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, and San Antonio to a previously announced list of seven launch cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, and Waco.

Looking to 2019, AT&T also announced plans to introduce mobile 5G in parts of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, bringing to 19 the number of cities slated for mobile 5G service.

Specific 2018 or 2019 time-frames or dates were not announced.

Over the weekend in Waco, Texas, AT&T said it conducted the “world’s first wireless 5G data transfer over millimeter wave using standards-based, production equipment with a mobile form factor device.” The company stressed that the test was “fully compliant with global standards” and used production hardware, not preproduction equipment in a lab.

Unlike Verizon, which is forging ahead with its own proprietary 5G standard and focusing on fixed broadband hardware for the home, AT&T has committed to launching standards-compliant mobile 5G services this year, beginning with mobile hotspot “pucks” said to bring up to gigabit speeds to wirelessly tethered laptops and other portable devices, according to a VentureBeat report, which noted that 5G-compatible smartphones are expected to arrive in early 2019.

In a press release announcing its latest 5G plans, AT&T said its deployment strategy will include using “millimeter wave spectrum to deploy 5G in pockets of dense areas — where demand on our network is high and extra capacity and coverage is needed most.” The company said its 5G trials found the performance of “mmWave” to be “better than expected and successful in delivering ultra-high wireless speeds under a variety of conditions.”

In other urban, suburban, and rural areas, AT&T said it plans to deploy 5G using its mid and low-band spectrum.

AT&T said its “foundational 5G Evolution technology,” which enables “peak theoretical wireless speeds of at least 400 megabits per second on capable devices,” is live in more than 200 markets and slated to reach more than 400 markets by end of the year.

Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung were cited as the technology suppliers AT&T will be working with to deploy “3GPP Release 15 compliant equipment in a handful of our early 5G cities.” The company also said AT&T Foundry Innovation Centers in Plano, Texas and other locations continue to collaborate with customers to “combine their innovative ideas with our network capabilities, then rapidly create and test prototypes for deployable products and solutions.”

Examples of 5G applications include “moving personalized shopping experiences closer to our customers or allowing surgeons to perform operations from a remote location.” Other potential applications center on Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city concepts, virtual reality (VR) gaming, and three-dimensional “volumetric video.”

For more detail on AT&T’s mobile 5G plans, visit