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AT&T fires up fake 5G in more than 100 new markets

21 April 2018

AT&T announced today an expansion of their 5G Evolution technology to an additional 117 markets across the US, bringing the total 5G Evolution markets to 141.

The 5G Evolution markets are foundational for a mobile 5G service offering that AT&T is promising to bring out before the end of 2018. The company's 5G Evolution technologies can deliver theoretical peak speeds for capable devices of up to 400 megabits per second. Devices that will work with 5G Evolution and LTE-LAA include the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S9+, LG V30 and the Moto Z2 Force.

AT&T is touting the rollout of its pseudo-5G technology to more than 100 new markets. The carrier has also added support for LTE-Licensed Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) in parts of three new markets.

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Andre Fuetsch, President of AT&T Labs and CTO of AT&T Services, likened the process of deploying 5G to building a house.

To its credit, AT&T seems to understand that it is playing fast and loose with the term 5G, as it tried to explain the 5G Evolution moniker in a blog post not long after the press release dropped. Essentially, you get faster speeds now and AT&T can upgrade them to true 5G when that tech is ready.

5G networking is anticipated as the next major evolution for mobile technology, empowering customers with even faster data connections, opening up avenues to new industrial applications, and even helping to build widely connected "smart-cities". As part of that, AT&T says it plans to make 5G Evolution available in over 500 markets later this year. These technologies serve as the runway to 5G by boosting the existing LTE network and priming it for the future of connectivity.

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Fuetsch outlined AT&T's 5G path a little further, highlighting the role SDN and the cloud plays in that path.

Virtualization and SDN are key to this vision.

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AT&T fires up fake 5G in more than 100 new markets