AT&T announced their plans to drive path to the nationwide mobile 5G network in a dozen of cities, including parts of Dallas, Atlanta and Waco, Texas by the end of 2018.
The U.S carrier shared its intentions to deliver this ground-breaking technology to its customers in January, but at the time it did not provide any specific details about the first locations that will enjoy the next-generation 5G network.
The company has been working on an aggressive schedule to add the 5G capabilities to its network beyond baselines by relying on technologies like Advanced 5G NR Testbed System (ANTS). Proprietary to AT&T, the ANTS is a first-of-its-kind 5G Testbed system. It will allow the carrier to support the 5G and also give a boost to the 4G network that will remain in place as a fallback in case of interruptions.
According to a press release posted on the official website, AT&T plans to expand the list of cities that will benefit from the standards-based mobile 5G. In addition to the above-mentioned pilot locations, 9 more cities will gain access to the speedy network. AT&T will name these locations later this year.
During the project implementation stage, the firm will base the initial mobile 5G deployments on the non-standalone 3GPP standards and integrate them with the current LTE technologies. AT&T will use the mmWave spectrum to deliver mobile 5G in certain coverage areas, while in others it will rely on different spectrum bands.
In order to effectively realize the 5G plan, the company is opening a 5G Lab in Austin, Texas, which main focus of operation will be building creative solutions, conducting “stress tests” with mobile 5G network equipment and devices and enacting real usage cases. The Lab experiment findings will allow AT&T to keep its role of an accelerator and leader in standards-based 5G deployments.
Companies like Apple have already started working on 5G hardware solutions that will allow users to take advantage of the 5G standard. In May 20017, Apple submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission to start testing 5G hardware and has been collaborating with Intel for the development of a 5G modem device.
Meanwhile, ChinaDaily reported that the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei and the British network provider Vodafone carried out the first 5G call between Barcelona and Castelldefels with speeds up to 8 times faster than 4G (or top speed of 2.09Gb/s).