AT&T plans to expand reach of 5G, AT&T Fiber, and G.fast
January 8, 2018
By Sara K. Madden
AT&T says it anticipates launching mobile 5G service in a dozen markets by late 2018, alongside its plans to expand the reach of AT&T Fiber for consumers and businesses, and of G.fast. AT&T's plans include becoming the first U.S. company to launch mobile 5G service in a dozen markets by late 2018, the company attests. With AT&T being a driving force for standards acceleration in 2017, the company expects its 5G services to be based on 5G industry standards.
In December 2017, 3GPP, the international wireless standards body, finished crucial elements of 5G new radio (NR) standards as a result of that acceleration. Hardware, chipset, and device manufacturers can begin expediting development since these specifications are now available, enabling AT&T to deliver mobile 5G services.
In addition to the company's plans to provide mobile 5G to consumers, AT&T says it should trial 5G technology with various sized businesses. Last January, the company announced that initial lab trials of 5G demonstrated support of 14-Gbps transmission, and latency of less than 3 ms (see "AT&T outlines 5G, other broadband plans"). AT&T plans to use 5G technology to help businesses throughout several industries evolve business operations and improve customers experiences in 2018.
According to AT&T, its focus on 5G does not mean it will neglect other technologies. Currently, AT&T has over 8 million business customer locations in the U.S. either on or within 1,000 feet of AT&T Fiber. Based on the number of fiber to the home (FTTH) households using publicly available data for major fiber providers in its footprint, AT&T will bring its 100% fiber network to Amarillo, TX, Beaumont, TX, Evansville, IN, Gainesville, FL, Panama City, FL, Springfield, MO, Waco, TX, and other new metros areas, says the company.
AT&T says that in 2017 it reached over 7 million locations throughout 67 metros across the nation with its ultra-fast low-latency internet service powered by AT&T Fiber (see "AT&T Fiber network reaches five new metro areas"). In 2018 AT&T plans to add 3 million additional locations as it works toward reaching a minimum of 12.5 million locations across at least 82 metro areas by the middle of 2019.
Additionally, AT&T says it plans to offer a new internet option of varying speeds to consumers in apartment communities in an additional 14 metro areas, and to launch G.fast to apartment communities within its 21-state footprint in 2018.
In August 2017, AT&T began offering internet speeds up to 500 Mbps with G.fast for multifamily properties throughout eight metro service areas beyond its 21-state footprint (see "AT&T begins G.fast rollout in 22 metro markets"). With G.fast, AT&T ways it will continue to provide residents in existing multifamily properties ultra-high speed internet connection without placing new home run inside wire, allowing for an efficient upgrade of apartment buildings to stream live video on DIRECTV NOW.
Finally, the company plans to continue network advancements with 5G Evolution technology in hundreds of new metro areas, alongside launching mobile 5G in 2018.