After promising earlier this year that it would be among the first domestic wireless providers to begin rolling out its next-generation 5G network, AT&T this week officially announced the first three U.S. cities in line to be blanketed with the carrier’s multi-gigabit 5G network by the end of 2018.
The first recipients of AT&T’s next-gen network include: Dallas, Texas; Waco, Texas; and Atlanta, Georgia.
The other nine cities will be announced in the coming months, AT&T said.
“We plan to offer mobile 5G to customers in a dozen cities, including parts of Dallas, Atlanta and Waco, Texas, by the end of this year. We’ll announce additional cities in the coming months,” AT&T said in its official press release.
Both AT&T and Verizon previously announced plans to begin rolling out their next-generation 5G broadband networks, which promise substantial — albeit variable — speed enhancements in comparison to 4G LTE. But while 5G speeds will vary, depending on each carrier’s respective network configurations, AT&T stressed in its announcement that its network will be based on ‘3GPP standards.’
3GPP is regarded as the “international body comprising a range of telecoms associations,” which was formed for the purpose of establishing and agreeing upon universal standards for 3G wireless services, the publication noted.
“Our initial mobile 5G deployments this year will be based on 3GPP standards and operate over mmWave spectrum. We will use mmWave to provide mobile 5G in some areas, and then we will deploy the technology on additional spectrum bands,” the company said, noting that the way its “implementing 5G in the initial deployments will also seamlessly integrate with current LTE technologies using the non-standalone configuration outlined in 3GPP release 15.”
The carrier noted how the LTE-capable equipment its deploying today will allow its customers to “easily migrate to 5G” when it becomes more readily available — however it’s worth noting that some, if not most current devices, including Apple’s latest iPhone and iPad models, are unable to take advantage of the new speeds.
It’s more than likely that a next-generation iPhone, perhaps in 2019, will include support for AT&T’s upcoming mmWave network frequencies.. Apple hasn’t rushed to adopt new wireless technologies, historically speaking. The Cupertino company lagged years behind its competition in adopting 3G and 4G LTE so it could unfortunately be even longer until we see an iPhone that’s compatible with AT&T’s network.