04 January 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
AT&T says it plans to introduce mobile 5G services into the US before the end of 2018 – and rival operator Verizon says it has picked Samsung as its vendor for fixed 5G.
AT&T insisted that it will use official 5G standards for
its services, which it will introduce into "a dozen markets by
"We’re moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G
this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for
consumers and businesses," said Melissa Arnoldi, president of
AT&T Technology and Operations. "With faster speeds and
ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance
experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars,
immersive 4K video and more."
The industry’s international standards body, 3GPP,
completed key elements of 5G new radio standards in December,
pointed out AT&T. "With these specifications now available,
hardware, chipset and device manufacturers can start
development. This allows us to provide mobile 5G services
sooner. We’re confident this latest standards
milestone will allow us to bring 5G to market faster without
compromising its long-term vision," said the company.
AT&T said it had laid the foundation during 2017 for what
it called 5G Evolution in 23 major metropolitan areas
– Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Bridgeport, Connecticut;
Buffalo, New York; Chicago; Fresno; Greenville, South Carolina;
Hartford, Connecticut; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles;
Louisville; Memphis; Nashville; New Orleans; Oklahoma City;
Pittsburgh; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; Tulsa,
Oklahoma and Sacramento, California.
But 5G Evolution is just a souped-up version of existing 4G
technology – just as, a decade ago, some US operators
used the 4G term for high-speed 3G networks.
Arnoldi did not say which dozen cities would be picked for real
Meanwhile Verizon has not made any announcement about mobile
5G, but said it has selected Samsung to supply it with
commercial 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) technology.
"The two companies will begin by launching commercial 5G
services in Sacramento, California in the second half of 2018,"
Ed Chan, Verizon’s chief technology architect,
said "The industry has been discussing 5G connectivity for
years, and through our joint collaboration with partners like
Samsung, we are beginning to make it a reality for our
customers. Sacramento is an ideal place to begin deploying 5G
broadband services, providing a progressive environment for
creating future use cases."
Samsung is not a new supplier to Verizon: last year the two
began 5G customer trials across seven US cities, and they said
they have successfully tested and verified 5G performance using
millimetre-wave (mmWave) frequency to provide FWA
For the Sacramento service, Samsung will provide Verizon with
commercial 5G home routers and 5G radio access units.