AT&T to Make Mobile 5G a Reality in at Least 21 Major Cities this Year, including Minneapolis and Chicago

The latest from AT&T…

AT&T to Make Mobile 5G a Reality in at Least 21 Major Cities this Year, including Minneapolis and Chicago

FEB 13, 2019 – It’s been about 50 days since we’ve introduced our mobile 5G+ mmWave network and a 5G capable mobile hot spot to customers. As the 5G leader in the U.S., we are pushing the industry and driving network and device performance improvements with our suppliers quickly.

In fact, due to a number of incremental improvements on both the network and device side, some of our early customers using 5G delivered over millimeter wave spectrum, which we call 5G+, have experienced speeds in the range of 200-300 megabits per second – and even as high as 400 megabits per second.* And we’ve recently observed wireless speeds surpassing 1.5 gigabits per second in field testing on our 5G+ network using a test device. **

Given this encouraging start to our 5G launch, we are moving forward in bringing 5G+ to parts of more cities in the coming months. Today, we’re adding Minneapolis, MN and Chicago, IL to our 2019 deployment roadmap.

We expect 5G+ customer performance and speed to continue to improve in the coming months as we gather learnings from our real-world, commercial network, giving us a head start relative to others still looking to roll out 5G. In addition, we’re on track and expect to have a nationwide 5G network using sub-6 Ghz spectrum by early 2020.

“Getting to mobile 5G first meant pushing the industry and ourselves faster than ever before, but we did it right and blazed a trail for others to follow,” said Jeff McElfresh, President, AT&T Technology Operations. “Now that we’ve had a few weeks to let the network breathe and look at real world results, I’m very encouraged by what we’re seeing. We can’t wait to drive forward and bring 5G+ to even more consumers and businesses in the coming months.”

“It is exciting to see AT&T as one of the world’s leaders in these early innings of 5G”, says Mark Lowenstein, managing director, Mobile Ecosystem. “This promises to be an exciting year, as we learn about initial mmWave deployments, expand coverage to more cities and across additional bands of spectrum, and see more 5G devices.”

Insights from One of the First 5G Customers 

Many of our first mobile 5G customers have been small to medium sized businesses. We think 5G technology has great potential to disrupt and improve many industries and provide a direct benefit to American consumers as a result. To support this, we laid out our strategy for 5G in business last month.

We’re already working with businesses to implement 5G. The first business we connected is Deep South Studios, a full-service motion picture, television and digital media production facility in New Orleans.

“We jumped at the chance to work with AT&T as an early adopter of 5G” said Mick Flannigan, Executive Vice President, Deep South Studios. “We’re interested to see how the technology will handle transferring large amounts of HD video, including high-resolution graphics and video effects. A video production studio can really stand out because of its technology. And if you look at the capabilities of 5G, it feels limitless.”

More Cities to Get 5G this Year 

Given this encouraging start to our 5G launch, we are moving forward in bringing 5G+ to parts of more cities in the coming months. Today, we’re adding Minneapolis, MN and Chicago, IL to our 2019 deployment roadmap.

They will join our previously announced 2019 launch cities: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

Learn more about our path to 5G at att.com/5Gnews.

5G will be a game changer for those who have access

Sprint has recently posted a new “5G Explainer” all about the wonders of 5G. Here are the areas they cover:

  • Latency
  • Speed
  • Coverage
  • Capacity
  • Density

The site is interesting and it will explain the technology but it doesn’t talk too much about the impact of 5G in rural areas. Here’s what they say about coverage…

Up until now, network coverage strategies were optimized for one primary use case: people with smartphones, moving around.

But in a world where every milk carton, motorcycle, park bench and parking space has a sensor and a transmitter, coverage presents a different range of challenges.

Today, users might experience places – even in cities – where the network doesn’t reach. But imagine you’re running a service that delivers parcels to moving targets – customers who are on the move. What happens when the network can’t reach your vehicles or your customers – even for a moment?

5G will rise to new coverage challenges by combining new technologies in new ways. Smaller antennae in massive arrays will make a single base station act like many. Beamforming techniques will focus data streams at specific users, tracking them as they move – even bouncing signals off walls to maintain the connection.

The bottom line: the coverage benefits 5G delivers will extend the power of the network to far more users, devices, IoT sensors and connected vehicles.

So think about what happens if your IoT implementation can manage a million more devices than your biggest competitor’s.

On the surface it’s just more sensors. But once you start capturing all that data and feeding it to your algorithm, you’ll be generating better answers to your customers problems faster than you can say ‘network effects’.

They talk about ubiquitous coverage but mention only cities when the ability to reach devices seem to have a real potential for farms too.

The impact of 5G will be amazing but only for the areas that have access. The areas that don’t have access may find themselves in a deep divide.

Three reasons FCC 5G proposal won’t work according to Blair Levin

The Coalition for Local Internet Choice and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors recently asked Blair Levin for his take on the FCC’s proposal to cap the fees that state and local governments may charge for small-cell attachments. The FCC says this will save the industry $2 billion and result in $2.5 billion in investment in rural areas.

He has three reasons this won’t work. Here’s a very abbreviated version below…

First, focusing on state and local government fees and processes is a distraction from the real obstacles to accelerated and ubiquitous deployment of next-generation mobile services, which are that broadband deployment economics are very challenging and have to be addressed at all levels of government and through creative collaboration with the private sector. Fees for access to public property represent only one of many, many costs of doing business a carrier will encounter. A focus on reducing or eliminating one (relatively marginal) cost of doing business does not solve the challenging economics of broadband deployment and serves only to obscure the true challenges. Indeed, even if one accepts the FCC claim about the $2.5 billion—which is highly questionable—that amount is about 1% of what the FCC and industry claim is the necessary new investment needed for next-generation network deployments, and therefore is not likely to have a significant impact. …

Second, local governments have a strong recent track record of endeavoring to enable and facilitate broadband deployment, as the Google Fiber experience conclusively demonstrated. Vilifying them based on fees for use of public property is not only a distraction but also unfair. Indeed, rather than acknowledging that carriers have a proven ability to negotiate advantageous fees with localities, the FCC’s draft order infantilizes carriers by preempting state and local government, presumably on the theory that carriers cannot protect themselves in negotiations with states and localities.

This is absurd. As the carriers themselves have acknowledged, they have sufficient leverage to walk away from any locality that creates too many obstacles to deployment and that leverage has led them to strike the same kinds of deals that numerous fixed broadband providers were able to strike in the wake of the Google Fiber efforts.  …

Third, the FCC’s draft order is based on a fallacy that no credible investor would adopt and no credible economist endorse: that reducing or eliminating costs for small cell mounting on public property in lucrative areas of the country (thus reducing carriers’ operating costs), will lead to increased capital expenditures in less lucrative areas– thus supposedly making investment more attractive in rural areas.

That simply is not how investment decisions are made. …

MVTV Wireless helps out Frontier customer after PUC meeting

I heard from a lot of people after I posted about the PUC-Frontier meetings last week. Systemically, people in rural areas are frustrated by lack of choice and competition in broadband providers.

I did hear one happy ending story from MVTV Wireless, a provider that offers another option in some areas. Julie Foote, at MVTV, had reached out to someone who gave public comments at the meeting and was able to get them a better connection. I wanted to share the story – especially if it helps connect someone else to the broadband they need. Here is the Q&A on it…

How did Joe connect with you?  I reached out to Joe after reading the Blandin Blog. I was able to track him down thru work (googled him and found his LinkedIn account). Joe was surprised by how much attention the article was getting, and seemed to be glad that it was making a positive impact. Joe had never heard of MVTV Wireless Internet but was willing to give us a try. He agreed to allow our tech to check his location for Line Of Sight (LOS).

How were you able to help? Signal was available from our Worthington Access Point (AP), our tech installed the radio and Joe’s family now has 25Mbps!

As a member-owned not-for-profit Cooperative, if we had not been able to find LOS to Joe’s home, we would have tracked it as a ‘miss’ and continued to work on a solution if possible. …cause that’s what coops do. We focus on member needs.

This is how MVTV determines where we need to build/expand to next. Each new community is served due to an expressed need for alternative broadband internet choices. This practice enables us to go where we are needed and not waste resources on areas already being served sufficiently.

What speeds and prices are available? MVTV Wireless Internet provides unlimited fixed wireless broadband internet service at speeds ranging from 5Mbps to 25Mpbs. If a business were to need more speed, our Business Sales Team would work with them to find the appropriate technology for their bandwidth needs and mission critical tech support. For a list of plans, go to https://www.mvtvwireless.com/our-products/wireless-internet/ or call our office in Granite Falls at 320-564-4807. The prices listed are exactly what you pay. …no hidden fees. And we do not have contracts.

And how would someone know if you were available in their area? MVTV serves SW MN and a map of our footprint can be found here: https://www.mvtvwireless.com/our-products/wireless-internet/coverage-maps/

And/or on a more macro level – are you interested in talking to new service areas? ABSOLUTELY! Since our $1.85M middle mile network upgrade (which was completed last summer), we are now able to offer faster speeds and reach more areas. Since then, we’ve been actively back-filling areas we had not been able to serve in the past. In just one year, we’ve delivered service to dozens of new communities throughout our footprint.  Residents and businesses should check back with us if they had tried us in the past. We’ll be happy to send a tech for a recheck at no charge.

AT&T invests over $1 billion in Minnesota since 2010

Here’s the latest from AT&T…

AT&T Invests Nearly $375 Million Over 3-Year Period to Boost Local Networks in Minnesota

 

AT&T Has Invested More Than $1 Billion in Our Minnesota Networks Since 2010

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Sept. 6, 2018 — At AT&T[i], we’ve invested nearly $375 million in our Minnesota wireless and wired networks during 2015-2017, including more than $275 million in the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington areas. These investments boost reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses. They also improve critical services that support public safety and first responders.

 

In 2017, AT&T made significant investments in the Twin Cities to prepare for the 2018 Big Game and beyond, including investing $40 million in our Minneapolis wireless networks and launching 5G Evolution in parts of the city. 5G Evolution offers customers a taste of the future of entertainment and connectivity on their devices.

 

In addition, in 2017, we made 976 network enhancements in 299 communities across Minnesota, including new cell sites, the addition of network capacity and network upgrades.

 

From 2010 to 2017, AT&T has invested more than $1 billion in our Minnesota networks, with our investments continuing in 2018. Expanding our network in the area has given AT&T the most wireless coverage in Minnesota.

 

“We are proud of the significant investments we have made in our networks across Minnesota, especially the upgrades we have made to prepare Minneapolis for the future of next generation connectivity,” said Paul Weirtz, state president, AT&T Minnesota. “The investments we’re making prepare us for the future of 5G and innovations like smarter cities, telemedicine and virtual reality.”

 

“For Minnesota to continue to thrive and attract new jobs and innovation, sustained investment by the private sector is crucial,” said Doug Loon, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “By continuing to build state-of-the-art infrastructure in our state, AT&T is not only helping to boost Minnesota’s competitiveness, but also providing residents with access to the latest technologies they want to stay connected and entertained.”

 

The AT&T LTE network now covers more than 400 million people in North America. Notable Minnesota network enhancements in 2017 included:

  • Launching 5G Evolution in parts of Minneapolis to provide AT&T’s latest network technology;
  • Upgrading the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at the football stadium in Minneapolis to now offer nearly 220% more LTE capacity than at the start of the 2017 pro football season. We also added more than 800 antennas hidden throughout the stadium to help manage heavy wireless traffic and give fans strong coverage throughout game day;
  • Upgrading or installing new DAS at 16 locations throughout the Minneapolis area, including upgrading the DAS at the airport and installing a new DAS at the convention center in Minneapolis, to provide better, faster wireless coverage; and
  • Completing 178 new or enhanced cell sites in the Minneapolis area to improve coverage.

 

By building out our 4G LTE network, we’re laying the foundation for 5G, the next advance in network technologies. We’re boosting network speeds and capacity, as we continue to expand the availability of our network using the latest technology.

 

Since the formation of the FirstNet public-private partnership a little over a year ago, governors from all 50 states, 5 territories and D.C. recognized the value of FirstNet, joining in its mission to strengthen and modernize public safety’s communications capabilities.

 

FirstNet is a new nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s public safety community. As we build, deploy and evolve FirstNet, we will build upon our current and planned investments in Minnesota to help ensure public safety’s network delivers the coverage and cutting-edge capabilities first responders expect – today and for decades to come.

 

For the 4th year in a row, AT&T earned the top spot in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE’s Most Admired Companies list in 2018. We also placed No. 49 among the 50 most admired companies across all industries.

 

We were ranked first or second in all 9 attributes used to compile the list, including innovation, people management, quality of management, long-term investment value, quality of products/services and global competitiveness.

 

To learn more about our coverage in Minnesota, or anywhere in the U.S., visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

For more information, contact:     

Mark Giga

AT&T Corporate Communications

612-206-0193

Mark.Giga@att.com

 

 

National League of Cities releases model code for small cell equipment policies

Route Fifty reports…

The National League of Cities has released a model code that municipal leaders can consult when deploying small cell wireless infrastructure, emphasizing local needs over federal and industry interests.

Small cells form the backbone of fifth-generation wireless, or 5G, broadband service that internet providers have promised to begin rolling out in 2018.

Minnesota came up with a lot of statewide policies in 2017, in time to help smooth the path to 5G in and around US Bank stadium for the Super Bowl, but it still might helpful or at least interesting to see what the National League of Cities recommends.

Senators are asking the FCC about the validity of the broadband maps

MultiChannel reports…

There appears to be bipartisan consensus that the FCC doesn’t know its maps from a hole in the ground.

That would be the broadband coverage maps the FCC is planning to use to decide where to put more than $4.5 billion in rural broadband subsidies. 

The FCC earlier this year put out the broadband maps of areas eligible for Mobility Fund Phase II money over the next decade as part of its move to redirect wireless carrier subsidies from where private capital was already at work to, as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai put it at the time, “something far more useful: bringing 4G LTE service to rural Americans who don’t have it today.

But legislators are asking questions…

That did not seem to assuage a restless group of legislators from rural states.

Sen. Jon Tester was the most vocal in his criticisms of the maps. “They stink,” he said. 

Tester said he was not sure that the challenge process to take care of the problem was going to work. He asked whether if he gets a text to send on one side of his house, but not the other, does that constitute coverage?

“I can send texts based on where the sun is in the sky, basically. And I can get voice calls…sometime, depending on which direction I’m driving the tractor,” he said, calling out Frontier for getting subsidy money but not spending it. 

Tester said they still don’t have 1G where he lives, much less five. 

Senator Klobuchar (and others) chimed in too…

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said she would take a “Minnesota nice” way of registering the same criticism as Tester. 

Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, a Republican from the equally rural state of South Dakota, summed it up: “I think what you guys are hearing is bipartisan concern about the maps and making sure that we are accurate and not overbuilding [or underbuilding, as Tester seemed more worried about] and that those areas that truly need the help are getting it.”