The first deployment of the 5G mobile service for AT&T will come to areas of Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, Texas before the end of this year, with nine additional cities in the U.S. to be announced over the upcoming months.
AT&T made an announcement of the initial areas to receive 5G service on February 21, as the telecom giant begins the build out of its most recent high-speed network.
To support the company’s development of its 5G strategy and its network, AT&T will open a lab for 5G in Austin, Texas to conduct their stress tests using their equipment and devices for mobile 5G from a host of different vendors prior to the devices being released to consumers.
The lab will be equipped as well with an outdoor test bed for 5G to evaluate several of the 5G applications as well as real-world use cases.
In the middle of 2016, the company carried out field trials for 5G with mmWave and it tested its 5G service with different residential customers along with some large and small businesses, and retailers with high traffic.
A spokesperson for AT&T said that the company would be continuing its rollout nationwide of its 5G service during 2019, but did not have any estimates as to when the rollout of the network would be completed.
The other big mobile carriers in the U.S. continue working with their plans to launch 5G as well. During January, T-Mobile made an announcement that it was working with Intel and Nokia on tests for a commercial 5G service as a way to see how the millimeter wave radio signals that are operating at 28GHz behave across urban settings, the way they interact with an LTE system and how to integrate them with the existing networks.
T-Mobile said that it is expecting to deploy its mobile 5G network nationwide before 2020.
Verizon started its trials for commercial 5G during the middle of last year across 11 cities in the U.S. including Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Bernardsville, Brockton, Dallas, Houston, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Those trials included as many as 500 business and residential customers, and the telecom giant has been carrying initial tests on 5G since it started early lab work along with field trials as far back as the fall of 2016.
Verizon, earlier this month, conduced successful over the air calls on a new 3GPP-complaint New Radio system through using licensed spectrum.