AT&T is focusing to get more than 100 cities ready for 5G. The Dallas telecommunications monster told on Thursday that it is rolling out its “5G Evolution” technology to the parts of 117 markets, getting its total sum to 141. The new cities encompass the bigger cities such as Dallas and Miami and the smaller cities such as Knoxville, Tennessee, and Reno, Nevada. The company has got plans to cover nearly 500 cities by the end of the current year.
The 5G Evolution is a confusing bit of marketing fluff since it is not actually 5G. But as the “Evolution” part of the term suggests, it would serve as a foundation for the next-generation cellular technology. Beyond the dramatically higher speeds and a much more responsive network, the 5G is seen like a hallmark technology capable of powering the other trends such as the self-driving cars, the internet of things (IoT) and the streaming virtual reality feeds. The interest in 5G has the United States carriers falling over themselves to talk regarding their upgrade plans.
AT&T has said that it would launch mobile 5G service in a dozen cities in the current year, with more markets to come up in the next year. Verizon has plans to launch 5G as a broadband replacement service in the current year and committed to a mobile rollout as well. Sprint and T-Mobile are rolling out the 5G technology in the current year, but they do not have any plans to launch until the next year.
The president of AT&T’s technology and operations unit, Melissa Arnoldi, said that those 12 cities would already have received the benefit of the 5G Evolution technology. Even without 5G, the customers having compatible smartphones could experience a dramatically increased speed. The company said that the theoretical peak speed for the 5G Evolution is 400 megabits per second. While that is only theoretical, even a more real-world speed of 100 megabits per second would smoke most wireless services that are available today.
A consultant at Recon Analytics, Roger Entner, said that the upgraded markets would provide double the speed and it is the stepping stone to a full 5G promised for later this year. That is if the users have got a compatible smartphone. Only the selected Samsung smartphones, encompassing flagships such as the Galaxy S9 and S8 and the Note 8, as well as the Moto Z2 Force Edition and the LG V30, could tap into these higher speeds. Any of the iPhones are missing from the list, which does not have the required components yet to tap into this technology.
AT&T would even bring LTE-LAA, a wonky term that means it is tapping into the same kind of unlicensed airwaves that the Wi-FI routers use, to three cities. The company told that the technology would help it to drive its network to 1 gigabit-per-second speeds. It would be available in Boston; McAllen, Texas; and Sacramento, California.
Arnoldi defending the term 5G Evolution said that the technology being rolled out would significantly benefit the consumers. Arnoldi said that what they are deploying is not 4G, but, it is an advancement that is the foundation for 5G.