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What Are AT&T’s 5G Plans?

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Oct. 19 2017, Updated 8:10 a.m. ET

AT&T on 5G

5G (fifth-generation) technology has continuously been a major focal point for AT&T (T). With the help of future 5G technology, AT&T foresees a tremendous boost in its wireless data speeds. Further, the telecom company also anticipates that the 5G technology will improve the latency and capacity of the existing 4G LTE path. The carrier will integrate spectrum into larger blocks and tap the advantages of the new antenna technology.

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AT&T’s management noted that the company is aggressively pushing 5G deployment in over 20 markets by the end of this year. The telecom company is conducting trials of DirecTV Now over fixed 5G wireless in Indianapolis and Austin. Additionally, the management highlighted that field trials are performing well, achieving one Gbps (gigabit per second) speeds.

AT&T is a competitive player in 5G space

AT&T has been a competitive player within the 5G market. In the past, AT&T had attempted to obtain a spectrum advantage by offering to pay a higher price as compared to its competitors. During the AWS-3 spectrum auction, which was held in early 2015, AT&T was the highest bidder, acquiring spectrum worth $18.2 billion. The AWS-3 spectrum auction was the vital auction conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (or FCC) after 2008. During the same event, Verizon (VZ) acquired spectrum worth $10.4 billion, while T-Mobile (TMUS) acquired spectrum worth $1.8 billion as the above graph shows.

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