AT&T (NYSE: T) has announced several cities that will be in the first batch to get 5G technology, a faster and more reliable next-generation wireless network. The Dallas-based telecom giant said Dallas, Atlanta and Waco will be among the dozen markets where it will first roll out mobile 5G. The other markets are still undisclosed.
Dallas and Waco were chosen because of their strong ties to the company. Atlanta was chosen because it is home to one of the company’s largest offices outside of Dallas. It did not specify the neighborhoods where the network will be available. The company said it would announce more cities in the coming months.
AT&T wants to be the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer 5G widely. 5G will create faster speeds for customers and help support widespread adoption of connected devices. The new technology can reach speeds of five to 10 times faster than current 4G LTE networks.
AT&T first announced the rollout in January. The company is planning to start the rollout by the end of 2018. AT&T has been testing 5G in Austin, Waco, Kalamazoo, Mich. and South Bend, Ind. AT&T also announced it’s opening a new lab in Austin to test 5G mobile deployments. The lab is expected to be opened this spring.
Other wireless carriers are also exploring 5G technology. Verizon said it’ll launch 5G in up to five U.S. markets in 2018. T-Mobile said it will start offering 5G in 2019, and plans to have nationwide coverage available by 2020. Sprint said it will roll out 5G by the end of 2019.
Building the network infrastructure is a pricey investment Telecom operators are expected to invest about $275 billion in infrastructure for 5G. AT&T says that the company will add more 5G capable mobile networks early next year.
It’ll take time for customers to be able to fully take advantage of the new network, as there are no 5G-compatible smartphones or tablets on the market yet. No major phone maker currently sells a 5G compatible phone. Device makers will likely debut the first smartphones for 5G in 2019 and 2020. AT&T is planning to launch its first mobile device for 5G in late 2018.