AT&T expands mobile 5G to 7 more cities

AT&T is now offering 5G services to mobile customers in a total of 19 cities across the U.S. The company has expanded its mobile 5G offerings to parts of seven new cities: Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; and California cities Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose.


AT&T claims it’s the only carrier offering 5G to businesses and consumers in the 19 cities where it has launched.


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“We spent the early part of this year accelerating and advancing our 5G network with early adopters by our side. And, now it’s time to offer this experience to more businesses and consumers in another seven cities,” Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and CTO, said in a statement.


AT&T launched its first wave of mobile 5G networks in December 2018 across parts of five cities, including Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Texas cities Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Waco.


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The initial 5G deployments were offered to select businesses and customers via connections to a portable Netgear Nighthawk 5G mobile hotspot. AT&T said at the time that its early 5G deployments would be small and limited, indicating that only some parts of the cities mentioned would be covered by the 5G mobile network, and that device availability would be limited.


“This is the first taste of the mobile 5G era,” Fuetsch said last year.


AT&T has been tight-lipped about the speeds its mobile 5G network can deliver to customers. In March, AT&T revealed it had achieved 1 Gbps on its live mobile 5G network using the Netgear Nighthawk hotspot.

100m from small cell antenna (Roger Entner)


Roger Entner, founder and analyst at Recon Analytics, went to Dallas, Texas this week to test out AT&T’s 5G network using the Netgear Nighthawk hotspot. He measured 1.3 Gbps at 50 meters from the small cell antenna, and 762 Mbps at 200 meters from it.

“The speeds are actually better than what a lot of people expect,” Entner wrote in an editorial for FierceWireless, adding that “performance will improve from the base line tested here as carriers and vendors learn more and improve software and deployment.”


In edition to the Nighthawk hotspot, AT&T said it plans to offer two 5G-capable smartphones this year, both from Samsung, and has promised the Galaxy S10 5G phone will become available sometime this spring. Verizon, however, will be the first carrier in the U.S. to offer the S10 5G, following an exclusivity deal it struck with Samsung.