Mad Race to Rollout 5G When Few Smartphones Can Even Use it

Allison Page Walters

Spotted by Phone Scoop (via The Verge), AT&T CEO John Donovan shared the news in the company’s earnings call today.

AT&T is on track to be the first wireless carrier to introduce mobile 5G services in the United States in the next few weeks. This will be standards-based 5G.

Donovan made the distinction about it being a 3GPP standards-based 5G mobile rollout for AT&T as Verizon launched its 5G home internet service earlier this month, but it’s not a quite a true 5G service. The company is planning to upgrade its next-gen cellular home internet with the 5G NR system in the future that’s backed by the mobile standards group 3GPP.

AT&T’s true 5G mobile service rollout should start in the coming weeks and includes Dallas, Atlanta, Waco, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Oklahoma City. Six more cities remain unnamed for now that will also see 5G in the next two months.

While AT&T will likely win the race to launch the new cellular service, there are hardly any smartphones that can use it (no support on iPhone XS or XR). Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint are all expected to launch their mobile 5G coverage next year.

AT&T previously announced half of the 12 cities that will be getting 5G mobile service before the end of 2018. Now, the company’s CEO has shared that it will be the first US carrier to of…
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