5G in the USA: Where We at With Mobile?

Dan Jones
7/27/2018
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Following earnings reports this week, we now know more about AT&T and Verizon's 5G deployment plans for the second half of 2018, and where each of the two largest US wireless operators stands on firing up true mobile services using the next-generation technology.

So let's take a look at the map and the stats:


Red flags indicate AT&T, blue for 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, with fixed 5G in trials
Where: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, Waco and six other unnamed markets by the end of 2018
When: Late 2018
Frequencies: AT&T hasn't confirmed yet but 39GHz is widely rumored
Suppliers (known so far): Qualcomm
Devices: A mobile "puck" 5G "hotspot"
Anticipated download speeds: 1 Gbit/s (fixed, per trials)
Capex plan for 2018:$22 billion (anticipated)

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, 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

For more:

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: 2019-20
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

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 as soon as possible in 2019
Where: Houston, Los Angeles, and Sacremento with one more market to follow in 2018
When: Second half of 2018
Frequencies: 28GHz
Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Samsung, Qualcomm
Devices: 5G customer premises equipment and home routers, smartphones (with mobile 5G)
Anticipated download speeds: 1 Gbit/s (fixed)
Capex plan for 2018: $17-17.8 billion

For more:

What does this mean in the real world?
As AT&T alluded to on its 2nd quarter call, even as mobile services launch, they are unlikely to be available in anything but "parts" of the announced markets -- thanks to the short coverage ranges of the millimeter wave technology ranges -- and compatible devices are likely to be short supply a (See Millimeter Wave 5G: The Usain Bolt of Wireless?)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
7/30/2018 | 11:36:46 AM
Updated article
Updated with the 5G expansions of Nokia's deal with T-Mobile.
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