AT&T has been one of the most controversial carriers when it comes to the launch of a 5G network in the United States. And the reason for that lies in the misleading 5G Evolution (also known as 5G E) network that it rolled out earlier in 2019, which was essentially an improved 4G LTE network, but definitely not 5G in any common terms. In fact, in some places, the 5G E network had slower speeds than a traditional 4G LTE network.
AT&T’s Grand 5G Roll-Out Plan
The name AT&T uses to refer to its “true” 5G network is “Mobile 5G”, and this is the network that the carrier is starting to roll out in the middle of 2019.
The carrier is currently rolling out small cells that will deliver service using the 39GHz (mmWave) band, also referred to as band n260. While future coverage will also deploy on lower frequency spectrum, so far it seems that the initial launch will be all based on millimeter wave, hence it will be limited to “pockets of dense areas” within cities.
One interesting detail is that developers visiting the AT&T Share conference on June 22nd in Los Angeles received a Galaxy S10 5G to start creating apps for the next-gen network. Those apps will be later presented at a hackathon event, but this just speaks to the fact that the technology is just starting to grow and regular customers will have to wait a while before they are able to make use of the network.
AT&T Mobile 5G Cities and Coverage
In summer 2019, AT&T has started its Mobile 5G roll out with 20 cities in the United States:
- CA: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose
- FL: Jacksonville, Orlando
- GA: Atlanta
- IN: Indianapolis
- KY: Louisville
- LA: New Orleans
- NC: Charlotte, Raleigh
- OK: Oklahoma City
- TN: Nashville
- TX: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco
The carrier also offers 5G to business customers in Las Vegas NV. Keep in mind that AT&T is actively developing the network and will be launching new markets throughout 2019, with Chicago and Minneapolis being two major areas where it will expand in the future.