Wednesday, September 12, 2018
AT&T rolled out some milestones in its quest to bring new network technology to the U.S.
The telecommunications and media giant (NYSE: T) unveiled the remainder of cities that will be getting the next generation of wireless, called 5G, for 2018, in an announcement Monday. Cities in the southern part of the U.S. – Houston; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, and San Antonio – will land the technology, joining seven others already named. In addition, parts of large western cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, will join the list in early 2019, along with a handful of others.
”We’re at the dawn of something new that will define the next decade and generation of connectivity,” said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer at AT&T Communications. “Much like 4G introduced the world to the gig economy, mobile 5G will jumpstart the next wave of unforeseen innovation.”
AT&T is ramping up investments in its networks as it tries to attract and keep customers amid rising competition from rivals. Industries in areas such as retail and manufacturing are looking for new applications for the zippy technology that could affect how consumers travel, shop and interact.
As part of its effort with 5G, the company said it’s selected Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung as suppliers. Already, it’s begun work on gear that will help get the technology to various areas of the country.
The other cities that have already been picked for 5G in 2018 include Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, and Waco. The additional cities that will receive the service early next year include parts of Las Vegas; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; San Diego; and San Jose, California. From there, it will continue to expand, the company said.
The announcements were made in conjunction with the AT&T Spark innovation event in San Francisco on Monday.
In addition, AT&T announced it is getting closer to sending Internet access over those ubiquitous power lines. It has started talks with suppliers to begin testing and building commercial-grade “Project AirGig” equipment, the company said in another release Monday.
The new technology, first unveiled about two years ago, promises high speeds that don’t require traditional connections to deliver Internet service. That could help shrink the gap between regions with higher bandwidths and those with slower options.
“We’re confident that we're on the cusp of a technology that could potentially help to solve the digital divide in this country,” Fuetsch said separately in another statement.
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