5G in the USA: Going Mobile

On the eve of Mobile World Congress, Verizon has announced its initial standards-based mobile 5G plans, meaning that all the major mobile operators in the US have now have a 3GPP-based mobile 5G network strategy in place.

Verizon, which was the first to launch a 5G-based fixed residential service with its "5G Home" in October 2018, will launch mobile services within the first half of 2019 in 30 cities, Verizon has not named these markets yet. (See Verizon's 5G Details: 30 Mobile 5G Markets in 1H19, MEC Launching This Year.)

Verizon said this week that its customers "will be the first" to get Samsung's new S10 5G this year. Samsung hasn't provided pricing or availability details yet; however, it promises more details at MWC next week. Initial phones are expected to support Verizon's preferred 28GHz millimeter wave 5G frequency. (See Samsung Announces First 5G Phones, Offers Few Other Details.)

What are the key technologies and processes that will underpin successful, full 5G deployments? Check out our 5G Big Picture Prime Reading report to find out.

So let's take a look at the latest 5G developments:

Blue flags indicate AT&T, red flags show Verizon, magenta for T-Mobile and yellow for Sprint. Expand, using the icon top right, to see a larger map 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 with fixed wireless 5G expected in 2020
Where: Parts of Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio and Waco (2018)
Parts of Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose (2019)
When: Mobile 5G is being rolled out now
Frequencies: 2018 (& beyond): 39GHz; post-2020: Sub-6GHz
Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Netgear, Nokia, Samsung
Devices: Netgear Nighthawk 5G
Anticipated download speeds: Theoretical peaks pegged at 1.2 Gbit/s, while actual speeds will be lower, according to AT&T
Capex plan for 2018: 2019: $23 billion

For more:

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, DC
When: First half of 2019
Frequencies: 2.5GHz
Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, HTC, LG Electronics, Nokia, Samsung, Qualcomm
Devices: Smartphones and a 5G hotspot
Anticipated download speeds: 250-300 Mbit/s (mobile)
Capex plan for 2018: $5-$6 billion, 2019 expectations slated for FY Q4

For more:

  • Sprint Gets 5G in Place for First Half of 2019
  • Slideshow: Behind the Scenes at Sprint's 5G 'Split'
  • Sprint Teams Up with Cox to Boost Spectrum With Fiber

    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: 5G will arrive in the first half of 2019 as compatible smartphones arrive, with a nationwide rollout to be completed in 2020
    Frequencies: 600MHz, 28GHz, 39GHz
    Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung
    Devices: Smartphones
    Anticipated download speeds: 100-200 Mbit/s (mobile)
    Capex plan for 2019: $5.9-$6.1 billion

    For more:

    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 coming first half in 2019
    Where: Fixed: Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento
    Mobile: 30 -- as yet unnamed -- cities
    When: October 2018 (fixed), mobile (1H19), (Panama City: TBD)
    Frequencies: 28GHz
    Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, Qualcomm
    Devices: 5G customer premises equipment and home routers, smartphones (with mobile 5G)
    Download speeds: 300 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s (fixed)
    Capex plan for 2019: $17 billion - $18 billion

    For more:

    What does this mean in the real world?
    The question about early millimeter wave-based mobile 5G networks is how much coverage they will provide. Fixed deployments have so far been been seen ranging over 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet. Suggesting that mobile deployments would require expansive infrastructure deployments to support mobile coverage. (See 5G: The Density Question and 5G4REAL: MWC19, 5G handsets and some frequency queries.)

    — Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

  • DanJones 2/24/2019 | 12:44:17 AM
    Re: 5G Singing! Ha! You noticed, cool!
    brooks7 2/23/2019 | 9:42:09 AM
    5G Singing!
    I'm going home
    And when I want to go home, I'm going mobile
    Well I'm gonna find a home on wheels, see how it feels,
    Goin' mobile
    Keep me moving
    I can pull up by the curb,
    I can make it on the road,
    Goin' mobile
    I can stop in any street
    And talk with people that we meet
    Goin' mobile
    Keep me moving, mmm
    Out in the woods
    Or in the city
    It's all the same to me
    When I'm driving free
    The world's my home
    When I'm mobile, ey woo, beep beep
    Play the tape machine
    Make the toast and tea
    When I'm mobile
    Well, I can lay in bed with only highway ahead
    When I'm mobile
    Keep me moving
    Keep me moving
    Over fifty
    Keep me groovin'
    Just a hippie gypsy
    Come on move now
    Keep me movin' yeah
    Keep me movin', movin', movin', yeah
    Movin' yeah
    Mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile
    I don't care about pollution
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy
    That's my solution
    Watch the police and the taxman miss me!
    I'm mobile! Oh yeah he he
    Mobile, mobile, mobile, yeah
    Songwriters: Pete Townshend
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