How AT&T Views 5G Technology



AT&T on 5G

AT&T (T) remains focused on its 5G (fifth-generation) journey. AT&T anticipates that the future of 5G technology will provide a drastic improvement in data speeds. It’s also expected to boost capacity and latency with respect to the recent 4G (fourth-generation) LTE (long-term evolution) path. 

5G technology should integrate AT&T’s spectrum into bigger blocks and tap into the benefits of its new antenna technology.

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During the recent JPMorgan Chase Tech, Media and Telecom Conference on May 23, 2017, Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s CEO, was asked about AT&T’s plans regarding 5G technology. Stephenson said that AT&T is set to gain 400 MHz (megahertz) of nationwide millimeter wave spectrum from its FiberTower deal. AT&T is planning to use this spectrum to deploy its 5G network, supported by its dense fiber and cell-site network.

AT&T expects to strengthen its dense fiber cell grid by penetrating other cities in the United States in which it currently doesn’t have a dense footprint. It visualizes itself as being a pioneer of 5G technology by the end of 2018–2019. It anticipates being able to offer 1 GB (gigabyte) of broadband services to households, as well as eventually in futurist applications such as the IoT (Internet of Things), smart cities, autonomous cars, and virtual reality.

AT&T is an aggressive player in the 5G market

AT&T has been an aggressive player in the 5G market. In the past, AT&T has attempted to create a spectrum advantage by outbidding its rivals. 

In early 2015, AT&T was the highest bidder at the AWS-3 spectrum auction, purchasing spectrum worth $18.2 billion. As we can see in the chart above, Verizon (VZ) also participated with a winning bid of $10.4 billion, and T-Mobile (TMUS) participated with a winning bid of $1.8 billion.


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