After the FCC held a big spectrum auction earlier this 12 months during which AT&T spent $23 billion to construct out its 5G community, the service says it would start deploying 40MHz of its new 80MHz spectrum holdings later this 12 months, as quickly as its new C-band is formally obtainable.
AT&T says it hopes its new 5G C-band spectrum will cowl 70 to 75 million Individuals by the top of 2022, with the purpose of growing that quantity to 200 million by the top of 2023. Presently, AT&T says its customary 5G (aka sub-6GHz 5G) community covers greater than 250 million folks within the U.S., whereas its sooner 5G+ community (aka mmWave 5G) is out there in elements of 38 cities together with 20 stadiums and venues throughout the nation. AT&T’s new mid-band spectrum can be sooner than its low-band 5G, however slower than its lightning quick (however onerous to search out) 5G+.
In fact, constructing out 5G protection and really doing one thing with all that wi-fi bandwidth aren’t precisely the identical factor. AT&T announced a number of new and ongoing partnerships with some main manufacturers and sports activities groups to make use of 5G in additional tangible methods.
AT&T’s partnerships with arenas and sports activities franchises like the Chicago Bulls, Miami Warmth, and Dallas Cowboys make lots of sense, because the elevated bandwidth of 5G permits followers to get pleasure from higher wi-fi service when attending occasions, whereas additionally probably unlocking small perks comparable to reside stat-monitoring in your cellphone.
AT&T additionally confirmed off some 5G-powered demos, like a Space Jam AR expertise the place you get to put an AR avatar of acquainted characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in the actual world, utilizing your cellphone’s show and digital camera.
However 5G in stadiums and and 5G-powered augmented actuality aren’t new. Perhaps essentially the most tangible advantages of improved 5G protection AT&T hyped had been its partnerships with Google Stadia to supply higher sport streaming and Boingo to assist ship improved wi-fi speeds at locations like airports, army bases, and stadium. So whereas they’re aren’t tremendous thrilling developments, the advantages of including extra bandwidth at decrease latencies are apparent in terms of cloud gaming and touring.
Lest the 5G hype prepare run away from us, I’ll remind you that should you’re pleased with their protection and your present machine, don’t really feel pressured to improve to a brand new 5G handset.
Like AT&T, Verizon and T-Cell additionally acquired massive chunks of spectrum through the FCC public sale in February, and so they too are additionally laying the groundwork wanted to deploy their new spectrum in direction of the top of the 12 months. And whereas 5G know-how continues to mature, we’re nonetheless within the early part of what is going to in all probability be a 10-year cycle. The handsets and 5G experiences we have now right this moment aren’t going to magically change in a single day. That doesn’t imply 5G is pointless, however merely a reminder that 5G improvement—each for the carriers and people of us who use it—is a protracted, ongoing course of.