That includes an announcement made recently by AT&T, confirming that it has brought 5G Evolution to 117 new markets across the United States. Samsung Galaxy users are in a better position with support for S8, S9, S8+, S9+, Note8 and S8 Active models.
The big blue network announced nearly a year ago that it had launched 5G Evolution service in Austin, TX, and, since then, the network availability has expanded quite a bit.
AT&T also announced a smaller expansion of LTE-LAA technology to an additional 3 markets including Boston, Sacramento and McAllen, Texas.
The telecom giant also announced new markets for LTE-LAA, a faster type of LTE service that takes advantage of unlicensed spectrum.More news: Pelicans cruise to game 3 win behind Mirotic, Davis
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"We're building a 5G network that will fundamentally change the way the world lives and works", said Melissa Arnoldi, president of Technology & Operations. LTA-AAA can deliver theoretical peak speeds for capable devices of up to one gigabit per second. Currently, there are four markets in the region that are running 5G Evolution. The carrier plans to use its interim protocol as a foundation for a true cellular 5G deployment before the end of the year.
And even though it's not true 5G, AT&T's 5G Evolution is still an upgrade over existing network technology.
In the meantime, AT&T is playing loosey-goosey with the 5G label for what is really an enhanced 4G LTE network. "We can enable faster speeds now, and upgrade to 5G when it's ready". As part of that, AT&T says it plans to make 5G Evolution available in over 500 markets later this year. Feutsch highlighted that AT&T has reached a goal of virtualizing 55% of their network in 2017, on the way to a goal of 65% by the end of this year.