AT&T Mobility has unveiled plans to introduce ‘mobile 5G’ services in twelve markets by late 2018. The telco notes that the accelerated launch timeline is a result of industry standards body 3GPP successfully completing what it described as ‘the first implementable 5G New Radio (NR) specification’ in December 2017. While AT&T stopped short of naming the markets in question, it seems likely that there will be a significant overlap with its previously announced ‘5G Evolution’ footprint, which encompasses: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Bridgeport, Buffalo, Chicago, Fresno, Greenville, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Tulsa and Sacramento. (Note: AT&T currently offers carrier aggregation [CA], 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM technology in these markets.)
In other US 5G news, Verizon Communications has selected Samsung Electronics America to supply it with commercial 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) network solutions. The two companies will begin by launching commercial 5G services in Sacramento, California in the second half of 2018. Last year, Samsung and Verizon began 5G customer trials across seven US cities in early 2017, and have successfully tested and verified 5G performance using mmWave frequencies to provide FWA pre-commercial services. These trials were conducted in California, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Washington DC.
Finally, T-Mobile US, Nokia and Intel have brought a 28GHz outdoor 5G commercial radio system on air in the busy downtown corridor of Bellevue in Washington state. The trial utilised Nokia’s AirScale solution and the 5G Mobile Trial Platform (MTP) from Intel.