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AT&T unveils the first three cities that will gain mobile 5G this year

Tyrone Stewart

AT&T Whitacre TowerAt the beginning of the year, AT&T announced plans to roll out 5G to 12 US cities by the end of 2018. Now, the telecoms giant has confirmed that three of those cities will be Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco, Texas.

The company has said it will announce additional cities in the coming months, while promising to add more 5G-capable mobile devices and smartphones from early 2019 onwards – on top of whatever the first devices are at launch this year.

“After significantly contributing to the first phase of 5G standards, conducting multi-city trials, and literally transforming our network for the future, we’re planning to be the first carrier to deliver standards-based mobile 5G – and do it much sooner than most people thought possible,” said Igal Elbaz, SVP of wireless network architecture and design at AT&T. “Our mobile 5G firsts will put our customers in the middle of it all.”

The initial 5G coverage will operate over millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum, which doesn’t offer the best range and will only provide 5G in some areas, before deploying the technology on additional spectrum bands at a later time.

To help with its deployment of 5G, AT&T is also opening a lab in Austin, Texas. In this lab, engineers will build and test solutions with mobile 5G network equipment and devices from vendors before they roll out to customers. The lab also has an outdoor 5G testbed to trial 5G apps and real-world use cases.