All four Tier 1 U.S. carriers are offering a mobile 5G service
With the June 27 addition of parts of Las Vegas, AT&T offers a millimeter wave-based mobile 5G service in 20 markets with observed speeds in excess of 2 Gbps.
AT&T’s 5G+ is available in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Waco.
The operator is currently focusing its service on select business customers and offering free data for at least 90 days then 15 GB for $70 per month. Compatible devices include the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
Unlike its domestic competitors, Sprint launched its 5G service using mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum rather than higher-frequency bands which provide smaller coverage areas meaning a higher level of densification is necessary. The service is available in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. The company has also identified Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington D.C. as forthcoming markets.
The carriers has provided detailed information on market-by-market coverage area. For instance, in Kansas City near its Overland Park headquarters, the Sprint 5G service covers approximately 625,000 people within about 225 square miles. In Atlanta, Sprint provides coverage from downtown to Dunwoody over about 150 square miles. Available devices include the Samsung S10 5G, LG V50 ThinQ and HTC 5G Hub.
In addition to mid-band spectrum, Sprint’s 5G approach is based on dual-mode massive MIMO antennas; Sprint uses to E-UTRAN New Radio-Dual Connectivity (ENDC) to allow devices to connect to LTE and 5G on the same spectrum band. Ryan Sullivan, Sprint’s VP of product engineering and development, said, “We are the only ones who in the world at initial launch that are going to launch LTE and 5G simultaneously on the same band and have the dual-connectivity path.”
Click here to see Sprint’s 5G coverage maps.
T-Mobile has nationwide 600 MHz spectrum holdings and has discussed its low-band portfolio as providing the coverage layer for nationwide 5G. The operator is hoping regulators approve a $26.5 billion merger with Sprint; the combination of low-, mid- and high-band spectrum provides an advantageous mix for 5G.
Last month the carrier said it will use its millimeter wave to activate 5G in parts of six cities–Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Las Angeles and New York. The service is based on “Multi-band Dual Connectivity,” which aggregates LTE and 5G NR component carriers.
Company CEO John Legere called out how T-Mo brought 5G to market along with coverage maps. “Current 5G networks in the U.S. aren’t anything to write home about. That’s because they’re mostly focused on high-band millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, which doesn’t travel far from the cell site and is blocked by things like trees, windows and doors. It’s a massively important part of 5G, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just that – a PART. We’ve been clear all along… real, game-changing 5G will require a range of spectrum – low, mid and high – and only the New T-Mobile will be able to deliver it”
Click here for a link to the 5G coverage maps T-Mobile published.
Verizon has a mobile 5G service available in parts of Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis and Providence with articulated expansion plans. This service is based on millimeter wave spectrum and the carrier has clocked speeds in excess of 2 Gbps.
Prior to launching mobile 5G, Verizon in October began offering 5G fixed wireless access for residential broadband. 5G Home is online in four markets and will be relaunched later this year based on the 5G NR standard rather than Verizon’s proprietary Technical Forum specifications.
Other named 5G markets include: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Washington D.C.
Compatible handsets available through Verizon Wireless include the Motorola moto z3 and z4 with the add-on 5G “mod,” the LG V50 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
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