AT&T to Launch 5G Service This Year

AT&T to Launch 5G Service This Year
The company will launch a 5G mobile data service capable of delivering up to 20 Gbps around the U.S.

(CCM) — AT&T aims to steal a march on rival carriers Verizon and T-Mobile by launching a commercial fifth-generation (5G) mobile service to its phone customers later this year, according to a Bloomberg report.

The 5G service will be launched in more than a dozen cities around the U.S, the company said without naming which ones. It has already conducted fixed wireless trials in Kalamazoo, Michigan; South Bend, Indiana; and Waco and Austin, Texas, and upgraded its network for 5G mobile services in 23 cities, so these may be likely launch candidates for the new service.

5G offers mobile data speeds of up to 20 Gbps and will enable AT&T, and eventually other carriers, to offer advanced services such as virtual reality, 4K video, and support for self-driving cars, according to the report.

Bloomberg says that carriers, mobile-phone makers, chip designers, and software developers will have to spend about $200 billion a year in research and capital expenses in order to make 5G services widely available to consumers. One of the key challenges will be how to provide an adequate cellular signal to handle the high anticipated demand for 5G services once they come available.

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