Atlanta, two other cities in AT&T 5G network rollout


Telecommunications giant AT&T said Wednesday it plans to include Atlanta in the first wave of its rollout of a faster 5G wireless network.

A 5G network, which is capable of accommodating driver-less cars and other next generation technologies, would boost the speed and reliability of wireless service. Speeds, said to be about 10 times faster than the current 4G or fourth generation networks, will also allow consumers to download movies in seconds.

AT&T did not say where the 5G network will initially be deployed in the Atlanta area. But Georgia is often a testing ground for new AT&T products and services, with the company recently testing a new technology in a rural part of the state called AirGig to deliver super-fast internet service via power lines.

The company said parts of the Dallas and Waco, Texas, metro areas also will be included in the service, which is expected to begin by the end of this year. AT&T previously announced plans to launch 5G offerings in a dozen markets by the end of 2018.

Last June, AT&T said data traffic has increased 250,000 percent on its mobile network since 2007, the year the iPhone was released. And the driver of that mobile data demand has been video via downloads and streaming.

AT&T and other carriers currently do not offer 5G-capable mobile phones, according to CNN. But AT&T said in a news release it plans to add compatible smartphones and other mobile gadgets starting early next year.

“After significantly contributing to the first phase of 5G standards, conducting multi-city trials, and literally transforming our network for the future, we’re planning to be the first carrier to deliver standards-based mobile 5G – and do it much sooner than most people thought possible,” Igal Elbaz, an AT&T senior vice president for its wireless network, said in the release.

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