AT&T 5G Evolution coverage expands to an additional 117 markets

AT&T 5G Evolution coverage expands to an additional 117 markets

And while that's great and all, AT&T's 5G solutions are still a few years out.

AT&T says that the rollout of its 5G Evolution technology serves as a network primer for actual 5G because it includes upgrading cell tower infrastructure with advanced LTE features that will support 5G when it's ready.

It's also making LTE-LAA available in parts of three markets (Boston, Sacramento, Calif., and McAllen, Texas), bringing that total to seven markets; that tech can deliver theoretical peak speeds on supported devices of up to a gigabit per second.

AT&T announced today an expansion of their 5G Evolution technology to an additional 117 markets across the US, bringing the total 5G Evolution markets to 141. "5G will provide a wireless experience that is faster, more responsive and more secure for our customers". Of course you'll need a handset that can utilize this tech, so far limited to the Samsung Galaxy lineup (S8, S9, S8+, S9+, Note8 and S8 Active) and the LG V30 and Moto Z2 Force Edition.

It was right around a year ago when AT&T trumpeted plans to expand its "5G Evolution" network to 20 metro areas before flipping the calendar to 2018.

LTE-LAA or License Assisted Access (LAA) uses carrier aggregation to combine unlicensed and licensed spectrum to significantly increase download speeds. Interestingly enough, AT&T could be the first wireless carrier in the United States to launch true 5G service in a dozen markets later this year, as the company announced in January. That means there is a good chance you will see 5G Evolution advertised in or near where you live in the coming months.

In a blog post last week, AT&T Chief Technology Officer Andre Fuetsch defended the company from that criticism and argued 5G Evolution helps set the foundation for the roll-out of full 5G.

The NBN CEO has said the company's plans for 5G remain contained to its fixed-wireless product.

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