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AT&T today completed its promised list of 12 cities that will launch its next-generation 5G network in 2018, announcing that the final five destinations will all be in the southern United States. The company also announced early 2019 plans that will bring 5G to the top cities in California and Nevada.
Two of AT&T’s 2018 5G launch cities are in Texas: Houston and San Antonio. Florida, Kentucky, and Louisiana each have one city — Jacksonville, Louisville, and New Orleans, respectively. They join the previously announced cities of Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, and Waco in forming a substantially but not exclusively southern initial rollout for AT&T’s mobile 5G service.
Additionally, AT&T announced that four California cities — Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose — will be getting 5G service in early 2019, alongside Las Vegas, Nashville, and Orlando. Interestingly, AT&T’s early 5G plans appear to be substantially omitting New York and other northeastern parts of the United States, possibly due to easier or more progressive 5G-related deployment policies elsewhere in the country.
Unlike rival Verizon, AT&T has committed to launching standards-compliant mobile 5G services in 2018, beginning with mobile hotspot “pucks” that will bring up to gigabit speeds to wirelessly tethered laptops and other portable devices. Smartphones compatible with the network are expected to debut in early 2019. Verizon is debuting 5G strictly in fixed home broadband hardware, starting with a four-city lineup that includes Los Angeles and Sacramento, Indianapolis, and Houston.
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