5G in the USA: Fall Edition
Autumn leaves, chunky knit sweaters, an abundance of pumpkin spice -- and now -- the gentle hum of high-band wave radio equipment in the air. That's right, it's finally fall in the USA, and 5G is here (well, sorta!).
So let's run down the latest on 5G deployments. This week, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has said that will launch its first mobile market -- or markets -- "within weeks," while Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has stepped away from a promise to launch standards-based mobile 5G "early" in 2019, instead offering a more vague "sometime" in 2019. Big Red, however, isn't backing down on home-grown (read: a spec, not a standard) "5G Home" fixed wireless deployments, adding a fifth market -- Panama City, Fla. -- on Wednesday. (See Verizon CFO Expects Mobile 5G Service 'Sometime' in 2019, AT&T Promises Initial Mobile 5G Launch in 'Weeks' and Verizon Names Panama City as Its Fifth 5G Market.)
Naturally, both of the big two mobile operators say they will be the "first" with mobile 5G.
So let's take a look at the newest map and the stats:
Blue flags indicate AT&T, red flags show Verizon, magenta for T-Mobile and yellow for Sprint. Expand the map to see a larger version and the carriers' overlapping cities.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) What: Mobile 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard Where: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Oklahoma City, Orlando, New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Waco When: November 2018-2019 Frequencies: Millimeter wave Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung Devices: A mobile "puck" 5G "hotspot" Anticipated download speeds: 1 Gbit/s (fixed, per trials) Capex plan for 2018:$22 billion (anticipated)
- AT&T Adds New 5G Cities, Names Infrastructure Vendors
- AT&T Adds Trio of New Cities for 5G Launch in 2018
- AT&T's BCE Keynote: 5G & SDN Worlds Colliding
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) What: Mobile 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard Where: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. When: First half of 2019 Frequencies: 2.5GHz Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Qualcomm Devices: Smartphones Anticipated download speeds: 250-300 Mbit/s (mobile) Capex plan for 2018: $5-$6 billion
- Slideshow: Behind the Scenes at Sprint's 5G 'Split'
- Sprint Teams Up with Cox to Boost Spectrum With Fiber
- Sprint Says No to mmWave, Yes to Mobile 5G
T-Mobile US Inc. What: Mobile 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard Where: Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City and 26 other cities When: 2019-2020 Frequencies: 600MHz, 28GHz, 39GHz Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm Devices: Smartphones Anticipated download speeds: 100-200 Mbit/s (mobile) Capex plan for 2018: $4.9-$5.3 billion
- T-Mobile to Test 5G 'Dual-Connectivity' With Vendors
- T-Mobile to Roll Out 5G in 30 US Cities in 2018
- T-Mobile Promises 'Nationwide' 5G in 2020 With New Spectrum
Verizon Wireless What: Fixed 5G using its home-grown 5GTF spec first, with mobile 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard in 2019 Where: Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento When: October 2018 (Panama City: 2019) Frequencies: 28GHz Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Samsung, Qualcomm Devices: 5G customer premises equipment and home routers, smartphones (with mobile 5G) Anticipated download speeds: 300 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s (fixed) Capex plan for 2018: $16.6-$17 billion
- Verizon to Launch Fixed 5G Service on Oct. 1
- Verizon Reveals Third 5G City, as Revenue Climbs 5.4% in Q2
- Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
What does this mean in the real world?
Not much yet for the average mobile consumer, as the real service footprint is still very limited, and 5G devices are non-existent.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading