AT&T Announces Plans to Launch Mobile 5G This Year

From PC Mag: AT&T on Thursday announced plans to introduce mobile 5G service in 12 cities by the end of 2018.

"5G will change the way we live, work and enjoy entertainment," AT&T Technology and Operations President Melissa Arnoldi said in a statement. "We're moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more."

This isn't a marketing stunt like the one AT&T pulled last year with its '5G Evolution' nomenclature; the company now intends to launch true mobile 5G, according to PCMag's Lead Mobile Analyst Sascha Segan.

The only problem with this plan: Nobody has built a mobile 5G device just yet, Segan said. On a positive note, though, the international wireless standards body 3GPP just locked down the first official 5G new radio (NR) standards at the end of 2017, meaning hardware, chipset, and device manufacturers have a standard to work with.

"Qualcomm and Intel are both targeting to sample their mobile 5G chips in 2018 for 2019 device launches, so AT&T could be building a network in advance of devices, which isn't actually all that bad an idea," Segan said.

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