In January 2018, AT&T promised to bring 5G Mobile Service to a dozen cities, shortly after they named the first three to receive this service, and recently named the next three.
In February 2018 AT&T announced that Dallas, Atlanta and Waco would receive the high-speed data service, and today they added Charlotte, Raleigh and Oklahoma to that lucky list.
A statement from AT&T says:
We’re deliberately launching with a mix of big and mid-sized cities. One competitor recently boasted “New York matters more than Waco” when discussing their future plans. We politely disagree – all Americans should have access to the next-gen connectivity to avoid a new digital divide.
9to5mac expect that what AT&T are truly trying to achieve with a smaller roll-out is testing of the service with a variety of different population sizes before a wider roll-out.
The term 5G has a fairly unclear meaning, but AT&T have said that it will follow the stricter 3GPP industry standards.
AT&T also admit that the multi-gigabyte claim made about the service is also just a theoretical peak speed.
Sprint, one of AT&T competitor’s have also announced the first US cities to receive the 5G mobile service on their on network.
It’s not yet clear as to when Apple will begin supporting 5G, but they have filed multiple patents for the technology and have been carrying out tests, as well and encouraging the FCC to leave the ‘super-high’ radio spectrum available for both 5G and subsequent innovation.
The main challenge for wide-scale roll-out is the range of millimetre wave 5G is much closer to WiFi than other LTE networks, which means it requires many more base stations than before, a solution for this has been rumoured, which is supposedly small-cell base stations whic can be implemented into anything ranging from street lamps to stores. This could also improve the connectivity and speed depending on how close you are to the nearest base station, which would never be far, especially in an urban city.