Those looking for a boost in their cell phone internet speeds can rejoice: Telecom giant AT&T said Tuesday it will be the first company to offer the high-speed wireless service in The City Beautiful.
The announcement makes for two Florida cities that have 5G service on AT&T’s roadmap. Those living in the Jacksonville or one of 11 other cities across the country can expect the service to roll out later this year. Orlando was added to the list alongside California’s San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
”We’re at the dawn of something new that will define the next decade and generation of connectivity,” said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer at AT&T. “Future smart factories and retailers, self-driving cars, untethered virtual and augmented realities, and other yet to be discovered experiences will grow up on tomorrow’s 5G networks. Much like 4G introduced the world to the gig economy, mobile 5G will jumpstart the next wave of unforeseen innovation.”
AT&T said it’s 5G strategy was to use “millimeter wave spectrum” technology in densely populated areas, such as the cities mentioned above, with suburban and rural area deployments using the company’s mid and low-band spectrum holdings.
“We’ve been encouraged by the performance of mmWave in our 5G trials and found that it performs better than expected and is successful in delivering ultra-high wireless speeds under a variety of conditions,” the company said in a press release.
So what are “ultra-high wireless speeds?” According to AT&T, that classification entails at least 400 megabits per second — that’s five times faster than the 80 megabit speeds offered by 4G LTE under pristine conditions and speed calculators show that amount of throughput has enough oomph to power through a one gigabyte file download in 21 seconds according.
The only drawback to 5G is it will require new phones for users to access those speeds, and there aren’t many options on the market — those looking to snag one of the new, sleek iPhones unveiled this week may be disappointed that the premium devices are still packing 4G LTE hardware.
AT&T said its 5G expansion efforts were part of its nearly $145 billion in investments into wireless and wireline networks in the United States, which it says makes for more investments in the U.S. than any other public company.