AT&T launched mmWave 5G in parts of 12 new cities, staying one step ahead of Verizon even as the latter surpassed a goal of launching service in 30 cities by the end of 2019.
After a flurry of year-end launches, Verizon closed 2019 with mmWave 5G available in a total of 31 cities.
AT&T this week revealed it too stepped up deployments at the end of the year, raising its tally of mmWave deployments from 23 cities in mid-December to 35 by the end of the month. The operator also expanded its low-band 5G coverage from ten cities to 19 in the same time-frame.
The rollouts highlighted the varied approaches US operators have taken to 5G, employing different spectrum and product strategies.
For instance, while Verizon’s mmWave network is open to all, consumers on AT&T’s network currently only have access to low-band 5G as the operator’s mmWave service remains reserved for business customers and select early adopters.
Additionally, though Verizon remains focused on high-band deployments concentrated in small areas, AT&T is pushing beyond mmWave toward nationwide low-band coverage in H1 2020. Rival T-Mobile US also homed in on broad low-band 5G, despite initial mmWave launches in six cities.
Due to a lack of available spectrum, Sprint is the only major US operator which has been able to pursue mid-band 5G deployments, offering coverage on its 2.5GHz spectrum in nine cities.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back