AT&T Launches 5G Foundation Technologies in New Markets
Friday, April 20, 2018 | Comments

AT&T launched 5G Evolution technology in parts of 117 new markets, bringing the total number of markets served with that technology to 141. The provider is also making Long Term Evolution (LTE) Licensed Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) available in parts of three new markets, bringing the total number of markets served with that technology to seven.

AT&T plans to enable LTE-LAA in at least 24 markets this year. The new markets are Boston; Sacramento, California; and McAllen, Texas. AT&T previously launched LTE-LAA in the Loop in Chicago, around Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, downtown Los Angeles and the Financial District in San Francisco.

The carrier’s 5G Evolution technology can deliver theoretical peak speeds for capable devices of up to 400 Megabits per second (Mbps). LTE-LAA technologies can deliver theoretical peak speeds for capable devices of up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps).

The two technologies, what AT&T calls a 5G network foundation, will see upgraded cell towers with LTE Advanced features such as 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), four-by-four multiple input multiple output (MIMO) and three-way carrier aggregation.

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) public-safety core incorporates 4x4 MIMO technology. “These technologies serve as the runway to 5G by boosting the existing LTE network and priming it for the future of connectivity,” said Andre Fuetsch, president, AT&T Labs and chief technology officer (CTO), in a blog. “We can enable faster speeds now, and upgrade to 5G when it’s ready.”

Earlier this year, AT&T announced plans to be the first U.S. carrier to deploy mobile 5G to customers in a dozen cities, including in parts of Dallas, Atlanta and Waco, Texas. AT&T plans to make 5G Evolution technology and the capabilities it enables available in more than 500 markets later this year.

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