AT&T 5G+ is now available in 20 markets
AT&T’s millimeter wave-based 5G service, dubbed 5G+, went live on June 27 in part of Las Vegas, the operator’s 20th market. Other markets where the service is available include Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
AT&T Nevada President Stephanie Tyler said the activations are “a testament to AT&T’s commitment to our future. This next generation wireless network will be game-changing as we explore the many opportunities and experiences it will bring. This technology will advance businesses and their customers as they become increasingly mobile and more connected.”
AT&T has observed 5G speeds in excess of 2 Gbps; those speeds were clocked in Atlanta using the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot. For comparison purposes, AT&T said that level of speed would let a user download a two-hour high-definition movie in 10 seconds.
Verizon is also using its millimeter wave spectrum for mobile 5G, this week turning up service in parts of Denver with Providence set to come online July 1. While both operators are currently using millimeter wave, AT&T has discussed plans for sub-6 GHz 5G while Verizon is lobbying the FCC to open up mid-band spectrum for mobile services. T-Mobile has its 600 MHz and is hoping to access Sprint’s 2.5 GHz holdings via a pending $26.5 billion merger.
MoffettNathanson partner and senior analyst Craig Moffett, in a recent note, reflected on Verizon’s millimeter wave-focused strategy in contrast to the spectrum mix AT&T has, as well as what the combination of Sprint and T-Mobile would mean.
“In the race to 5G, Verizon risks being overtaken by AT&T. Over the next few years, Verizon risks losing, if not the reality of 5G, then at least the marketing war.” He noted that millimeter wave is “best suited for a supporting role in 5G, not a starring one. Outside of dense cities, coverage will demand mid-band or low-band spectrum.”
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