back to article Guys, geez... finally 5Gs: AT&T grows super-fast mobile net city rollout

AT&T has promised real-world rollouts of 5G super-fast mobile internet in five more US cities before the end of the year, taking the total to 12, with another seven due next year. "5G is finally here," said AT&T's chief technology officer Andre Fuetsch opening up its Spark conference in San Francisco this morning – with a …

  1. tip pc Silver badge

    Disturbance in the force.

    All the carriers can’t wait to deploy 5G, there must be something in it for them to be chomping at the bit to get it out the door. I assume it’s much cheaper per user for them on 5g than what ever it is now (is it 3G+ or proper 4G we have now?)

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Disturbance in the force.

      I assume it’s much cheaper per user for them on 5g than what ever it is now (is it 3G+ or proper 4G we have now?)

      I would think too that they could raise the price to the consumer for "faster service". First step in anything corporate is the impact on the bottom line and how to make it bigger.

  2. Nate Amsden

    waste of time

    5G sounds like it may be useful for things like fixed wireless communications. AT&T struggles to get their 4G LTE stuff working most of the time. I can recall two situations in the past 5 years where I got above 20Mbit on LTE. Most of the time it is below 5Mbit. One was in a San Jose hotel (another time I was at another San Jose hotel and the LTE was sub 1Mbit). The other time was at a Las Vegas convention center where they obviously had LTE repeaters or whatever you call them in the room.

    Too bad fixing coverage doesn't sound flashy like 5G.

    It's not my phone either have tried at least 3 different phones side by side the coverage is quite similar. I have seen many times where I have "good" LTE signal strength(as measured by an app that looks at the numbers), but not enough bandwidth to resolve any DNS entries.

    (AT&T customer since about 2010 or so, I switched from Sprint in order to use Palm/HP Pre GSM phones at the time currently have Galaxy note 3s and Sony XZ1 on their network). When I was on Sprint of course it was far worse at the time anyway, their Wimax 4G was slower than their 3G (I had a Sprint mifi hotspot at the time and despite unlimited 4G Wimax it was so slow I configured the device to stay on 3G even though it was no longer unlimited). Changing to (then) AT&T's HSPA+ it was easily 4-6X faster than Sprint. I'm sure Sprint has improved a bit since that time, bad performance wasn't the only reason I left 'em.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5G needs many more base stations than the current 4G tech?

    Not necessarily. While the new 5G-NR standard includes a bunch of new channels above 3 GHz that have shorter range, it also includes a subset of channels below 3 GHz that are currently used by 4G-LTE today. Range for those lower channels should be similar, allowing carriers to reuse their existing base station topology.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5G needs many more base stations than the current 4G tech?

      More to the point, most operators still have some 3G and in some cases 2G technology in use, when they discontinue those they can convert those frequencies to use 5G. That way there's no need to take away LTE capacity to add 5G.

  4. ivan5

    But does it make a phone call better, clearer, etc. or is its only real use for tablet waving millennials?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't help your phone calls in any way. It doesn't even use spectrum more efficiently. All it does is add the ability to use much higher frequencies (up to 60 GHz and beyond) though I'm not sure how much of that is the protocol and how much is that spectrum opening up, and greatly reduced latency compared to LTE. It also allows using much greater swathes of frequency at once - since it isn't more efficient in bits/Hz this is the only way it will ever be faster than LTE.

      Unless you are doing something latency sensitive, there's no reason to care whether you are on a modern LTE Advanced cell or 5G. But watch people refuse to buy phones next summer because they don't have 5G, as if that matters.

  5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge


    Does it suddenly make the operator's backhaul faster? No? Then the lousy data performance and calls that go silent part way through will be exactly the same.

  6. Mike 16

    So how many seconds

    of 1080p low-latency gaming does it take to hit the "don't call it a cap" on your "unlimited data" plan and get throttled to 200kbps?

    Also, how long before some buffoon walks in front of a bus while using an augmented reality headset that displays it as a coach and four unicorns?

    (and as other have mentioned, how long does it take to walk out of your coverage area?)

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