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AT&T’s Mobile 5G Reaches 19 Cities

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Apr. 18 2019, Published 11:40 a.m. ET

AT&T 5G enters 19 cities as Verizon eyes a rollout in 30 cities

This month, AT&T (T) reached 19 cities with its 5G mobile phone service, and it’s eyeing nationwide 5G coverage by 2020. Encouraged by the expanding revenue opportunity in the 5G space, mobile operators have put their best feet forward to deploy their 5G networks.

AT&T and Verizon (VZ) aim to lead the 5G network rollout race. Both are currently undergoing the rollout of their 5G mobile services across the United States. This month, AT&T launched its 5G mobile service ahead of schedule in two cities, and it’s aiming to reach 30 cities by the year’s end. T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) are also working toward launching their 5G services before the year’s end.

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Boost to AT&T’s digital media business

For AT&T, 5G connectivity promises not only to enlarge the market for its wireless services but also to boost its digital media and entertainment business. AT&T has launched several online video services, and more are on the way as it responds to the cord cutting trend and rises to capitalize on the expanding market for video streaming services. Because 5G networks support data speeds that are up to 100 times faster than 4G, the shift to 5G is expected to accelerate the uptake of video streaming services, which could drive more gains for AT&T in its media and entertainment arm.

Revenue fell 3.0% year-over-year to less than $12 billion in AT&T’s entertainment business in the fourth quarter.

Shortage of 5G phones

For now, though, AT&T is being held back by a shortage of 5G-compatible handsets. At the moment, customers require a separate device that functions as a hotspot to be able to use AT&T’s 5G mobile network, which may not be convenient for some people. However, AT&T says that the Samsung (SSNLF) Galaxy S10 5G smartphone, which is coming to the United States in May, will work on its 5G network. Verizon will also support the Galaxy S10 5G device on its 5G network.

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