Wednesday, April 26, 2017

AT&T to launch 5G Evolution in 20 Markets

AT&T announced that as part of its 5G Evolution program it plans to begin offering higher speed services for wireless customers with the latest devices in over 20 major metro areas by the end of the year.

The new wireless capability is now available in select areas of Austin, where AT&T wireless customers with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ are able to access faster 5G Evolution Internet speeds. The new higher speed service is due to be expanded to Indianapolis in the summer, with a launch in additional markets to be announced over the coming months, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Francisco.

AT&T's 5G Evolution program will enable faster wireless Internet speeds for customers, and in Austin delivers around twice the download speed, as well as lower latency, of the existing 4G LTE network. The enhanced service is available to customers on most data plans that have a Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ device. AT&T noted that by the end of 2017 it expects to offer a range of user devices able to take advantage of the 5G Evolution program.

As part of the 5G Evolution program, AT&T is investing in its wireless network to add small cells and implementing technology upgrades including carrier aggregation, 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM.

  • In mid-March AT&T announced that following the decision by the 3GPP wireless standards body to accelerate certain elements of the 5G new radio (NR) development program, it expected to launch standards-based mobile 5G services to consumers by late 2018.

    At that time, AT&T stated that it was conducting in 5G trials in a number of cities and AT&T Lab locations, including the first 5G fixed wireless business customer trial in Austin launched in 2016. AT&T added that in April it planned to launch a second trial in Austin for the delivery of DIRECTV NOW and access new entertainment and enhanced broadband services for residential and SMB customers.
  • In February, AT&T noted that the forthcoming trial in Austin would utilise Ericsson's 5G RAN technology and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform, as well as leveraging the resources and capabilities of its 2 new 5G testbeds in Austin, where it was exploring the use of 28 GHz, 39 GHz and sub-6 GHz frequency bands. It also noted that working with Nokia it had delivered DIRECTV NOW over a fixed wireless 5G connection using 39 GHz mmWave technology.

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