(TNS) — AT&T is planning to roll out mobile 5G, the next generation of wireless network technology, in another two Texas cities this year.
Customers in parts of San Antonio; Houston, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Fla. and Louisville, Kentucky will get the service by year’s end, AT&T announced Monday. The cities join a list of seven others, including Dallas and Waco, that were announced previously.
The Dallas-based company said it also anticipates launching the services next year in parts of other cities: Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose, California — bringing the total to 19 cities, with plans for further expansion.
Though the bulk of 5G capable mobile devices and smartphones won’t be available until next year or later, the technology could affect not just data speeds but self-driving cars, mobile gaming, virtual reality and more.
“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 Communications. “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.”
The company has chosen Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung as distributors and they’re working to implement equipment in some of the 5G cities announced initially, they said.
In a separate announcement Monday, AT&T said the company is also in discussions with suppliers to expand Project AirGig, which focuses on delivering high-speed internet over power lines. The company said it expects to test 5G with AirGig in the future and has applied for more than 500 patents for the AirGig initiative.
There’s not a set date for when AirGig will roll out but next year AT&T plans to expand field trials, the company said.
“We’re confident that we’re on the cusp of a technology that could potentially help to solve the digital divide in this country,” Fuetsch said.
Other major carriers are also rolling out mobile 5G. Verizon plans to offer the service in Houston, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Indianapolis this year and T-Mobile has said it will bring 5G to 30 cities in 2018. Next year Sprint is looking to launch the service in an assortment of cities, including Houston and Dallas.
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