AT&T announced that Indianapolis will be the seventh city in the United States that will receive the carrier's mobile 5G service this year. The telecom giant previously stated it plans to deploy mobile 5G infrastructure in twelve cities across the country by the end of the year and had already announced that Charlotte, Raleigh, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco will be part of its 5G project.
In preparation for the 5G buildout Indianapolis, AT&T spent $425 million from 2015 to 2017 to improve its wireless and wireline infrastructure in the city and also undertook more than 525 wireless network improvements last year, which included the construction of new cell sites and upgrading existing base stations. Indianapolis is also among the first cities to receive LTE-LAA (Licensed Assisted Access) from AT&T and saw the carrier's 5G Evolution service launched last year as well. The latter offering utilizes technologies that can later be used in the deployment of the 5G standards, including MIMO antennas and 256-QAM data modulation.
AT&T has yet to announce the five remaining cities that will receive its mobile 5G service in the coming months. Its initial deployment of mobile 5G will cover both large and medium-sized cities, which should result in a wider and more consistent 5G network coverage, or at least that's what the company is hoping for. AT&T has been preparing its network for the rollout of the next-generation telecommunications standard for some time now, both in terms of upgrades and entirely new buildouts. Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint will also be starting 5G deployment in the coming months, with all four major network operators in the United States planning for nationwide coverage by 2020. First 5G-enabled smartphones are expected to become available for purchase in the country in the first half of next year, with Samsung, LG, OnePlus, and a number of other manufacturers already confirming they're working on such Android devices.