Setting the Benchmark for Wireless

Articles & News

Articles & News



By Jeff Kagan on FEBRUARY 26, 2018

AT&T Mobility looks like it will be first out of the 5G gates at the end of this year where they will launch in a dozen cities. They say the first markets will be Atlanta Georgia, Dallas and Waco, Texas, with more announcements to come. And the 5G story is just beginning. Other carriers are lining up with their offerings as well starting next year in 2019.

So, where do all the wireless carriers and handset makers stand in the 5G race? Other major wireless carriers like Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint along with smaller carriers like C Spire Wireless, US Cellular and others are also gearing up for the transition to 5G. In fact, I expect to hear the same kind of announcements from Google Project Fi, Comcast Xfinity Mobile and Charter Spectrum wireless service, which has yet to launch.

Over the next several years, every wireless player, networks and handset makers like Apple iPhone, iPad and HomePod, Google Android and Samsung Galaxy will all be in the 5G game.

As always, while it will take several years for a full 5G transformation, just like it was for 4G and 3G, it’s great to see carriers pushing the limits and moving ahead very rapidly. And AT&T Mobility rapid push into this marketplace will force other carriers to jump in quickly as well.

AT&T was also first to market with iPhone, DirecTV, wireless TV

Initially, this will give AT&T a competitive advantage, and that will push other carriers to speed up their rollout just to keep up. Being first to market is in AT&T’s blood. They were first into many different areas like the smartphones, iPhone, pay-TV, wireless TV and so much more.

While the 5G network will be much faster, to take full advantage you will need new equipment. That means handset and tablet makers like Apple iPhone, Google Android and Samsung Galaxy need to get up to speed as quickly as possible. There are no 5G handsets or tablets in the marketplace today.

Customers with existing devices will not see massive change initially. That will occur over the next year. However, existing customers will benefit from the foundation AT&T is laying through their 5G Evolution on LTE and LTE-LAA.

AT&T says users of late model devices will see higher speeds and lower latency because of 5G Evolution and LTE-LAA. Customers will get their data faster, which will free up bandwidth. Users of older devices will also benefit. The foundations they are laying for mobile 5G will benefit these users by seamlessly integrating with their LTE network technologies.

Mobile hot spots will be some of the first devices to tap into the mobile 5G network this year. They also expect to offer smartphones and other devices as soon as they become available. That puts pressure on every device maker to get up to speed sooner rather than later because customers will demand it.

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Amanda Duffy