Following the 5G NR (new radio) hardware guidelines recently delivered by the 3GPP , AT&T has said that it will begin to roll out its 5G network based on the spec in late 2018. AT&T announced the news in a press release (via Engadget ), stating that the service would be in a dozen cities by the end of this year, meaning general consumers would have access to the faster internet speeds it provides.
There’s a good chance AT&T will have this ready ahead of the other major US carriers: Sprint said that its 5G network would be readyby late 2019, while T-Mobile has said it will be up and running in 2020.
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It seems like Verizon, AT&T’s major rival, is the only carrier that could come out ahead. Verizon has alsopromised to deliver 5G in the second half of 2018, kicking off in Sacramento, California and rolling out to between three and five cities before 2019. While this indicates that Verizon could have it launched anytime from July onwards, it’s still up in the air until we get more specific timeframes.
Meanwhile, AT&T also said it will continue to work on its 5G Evolution network (based on 4G technologies) throughout this year. AT&T said it will bring this to “hundreds of additional metro areas” and have more 5G Evolution-capable devices available in 2018.