AT&T announced it rolled out parts of its 5G Evolution technology to 117 new markets, as the US operator sought to “set the record straight” on how the effort will help it prepare to launch mobile 5G services.
The operator, which announced earlier this year it would launch mobile 5G services in a dozen US cities by the year-end, said it is using 5G Evolution to help prepare for the effort.
Parts of the technology have now been brought to 141 markets in total, with Miami and Dallas among the new cities benefitting.
5G Evolution technologies can deliver theoretical peak speeds for capable devices “of up to 400Mb/s,” said AT&T.
In addition, AT&T said it had also made LTE Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) available in three new markets – Boston, Sacramento and McAllen – bringing the total number of markets with access to the technology up to seven.
LAA can deliver theoretical peak speeds for capable devices of up to 1Gb/s.
Setting the stage
Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T labs and CTO, wrote in a blog post that 5G Evolution and LTE-LAA technology was helping it to lay the foundation for its 5G network.
The effort involves upgrading mobile towers with LTE-Advanced features including 4×4 MIMO, 256QAM and three-way carrier aggregation, all of which will serve “as the runway to 5G by boosting the existing LTE network and priming it for future connectivity”.
He said the three cities already earmarked for standards-based 5G at the end of this year – Waco, Atlanta and Dallas – have 5G Evolution technologies in place now “that are setting the stage for 5G”.
In another market, Puerto Rico, the operator said it was rebuilding networks in the country following a devastating hurricane to prepare for a 5G future by installing more fibre, more small cells and adding network capacity.
“And we’re not stopping there. No matter what our competitors might claim, our investment in the future of 5G is bringing real benefits to real customers,” said Fuetsch.