AT&T Home 5G To Hit 12 Markets Before 2019, 19 More Later

AT&T will reportedly be bringing fixed 5G for home usage to 12 markets before this year is out, and an additional 19 markets early in 2019. This will be in addition to any planned deployments of mobile 5G, which means there will be some overlap. The markets in question for this year that have been named so far are Las Vegas, Nevada, Nashville, Tennessee, Orlando, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina, Dallas and Waco in Texas, Indianapolis, Indiana, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and finally, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles, all in California. It should be noted that these announcements almost certainly don't mean that coverage is coming immediately to all areas of the announced cities and their metro areas; most likely, coverage will start out being limited to high-density areas where deploying small cells makes a lot of sense inn both the mobile and fixed markets, and will spread out from there.

Background: These new markets will be AT&T's first foray into offering home-based 5G for consumer use, so it's hard to say at this point exactly how the company will be handling things. It stands to reason that the offering will likely be in line with other AT&T products in the deployment areas. For what it's worth, AT&T has rolled out mobile 5G in Dallas and Waco, Texas already, and things remain largely unchanged for customers, aside from faster speeds on compatible devices. Fixed 5G is going to an entirely different affair from mobile 5G. AT&T will likely be able to deploy a separate small cell or set of small cells for each home, apartment, or business that wants to sign up, which means that coverage will theoretically be rock-solid and blazing fast at all times. As for billing and bundling, it could possibly serve as an alternative to home broadband in areas that it's offered. Fixed 5G is, in theory, easier and cheaper to deploy than a home broadband connection, and offers more for consumers, as well.

Impact: While early hype surrounding 5G may have focused on smartphones, it's clear that use cases for the technology will be all over the place. Fixed 5G for home and business use is one of the major consumer-facing use cases for the new tech, and rapid growth is all but guaranteed as carriers and broadband providers alike scramble to saturate markets ahead of their competitors. A high-band spectrum auction is currently going on as well, which means that the events of the next year or so will set the tone for much of the lifespan of 5G, just as early LTE deployments did for that technology; it took outliers T-Mobile and Sprint many years and tons of money to even begin to catch up with their larger rivals. In the case of AT&T and home 5G, don't expect it to outright replace home  broadband  for all use cases just yet, even in compatible markets. With time and improvement, however, it is theoretically viable, and could be cheaper and easier for everybody in the end, to phase out traditional fiber-optic and copper cable based broadband types in favor of fixed 5G solutions. This could also mean more choices and better networks for rural customers who currently have to resort to satellite internet, using their smartphones as a primary internet connection, or slow broadband options like old-fashioned DSL.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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