AT&T named three more cities that will receive 5G connectivity by the end of the year, having announced it's expanding its next-generation wireless program to Charlotte, Raleigh, and Oklahoma City. The company's 5G initiative has already been confirmed as encompassing Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco, with AT&T first outlining the details of its plan in February. Half a dozen more cities are also expected to be used as 5G testbeds by the company in the coming months and AT&T is likely to announce their names by the end of summer.
The Dallas, Texas-based telecom giant planned its initial 5G deployment wave as including both large and medium-sized cities so as to allow it to test its next-generation technologies in a wide variety of scenarios. The firm also took a dig at T-Mobile's recent statement that it will prioritize the largest metropolitan areas in the United States with its 5G buildouts, having said it disagrees with that approach as it sees all Americans as equals in regards to their right to access high-tech wireless solutions. AT&T sees that approach as a way to avoid repeating the issue of spotty coverage that's still plaguing select 4G LTE networks in the country and believes it general efforts in the segment will allow it to offer the first truly mobile 5G service to stateside consumers.
While the telecom juggernaut's service will be going live in select areas this year, first 5G-enabled smartphones won't be released in the U.S. until next year, so the experimental period will only see consumers connect to the new network via 5G pucks which will essentially act as hotspots. 5G is the first generation of wireless technologies in the history of the telecom industry that's been built from the ground up with use cases in mind and is consequently expected to spur economic growth shortly following its large-scale deployment. All major carriers in the U.S. previously promised to reach nationwide 5G coverage by 2020.