AT&T launches '5G Evolution' speeds in 117 new markets


2018 is quickly turning into the year of 5G.

"We're building a 5G network that will fundamentally change the way the world lives and works", said Melissa Arnoldi, president of Technology & Operations. The in-between stage from 4G to 5G will be something known as "fake 5G", or "5G Evolution" to parts of 117 new markets-the advanced service is already available in 24 cities. The company's 5G Evolution technologies can deliver theoretical peak speeds for capable devices of up to 400 megabits per second. With 5G you will be able to get 5G Internet wirelessly to your home, which is a dream many cord cutters have had for years.

The 5G Evolution markets are foundational for a mobile 5G service offering that AT&T is promising to bring out before the end of 2018. The so-called 5G Evolution is faster than the current version of LTE, but it's not really 5G. It takes advantage of 4G LTE technologies like 256 QAM, carrier aggregation, and 4×4 MIMO to boost download speeds on supported devices. The LG V30 and Moto Z2 Force smartphones can also leverage the technology.

And even though it's not true 5G, AT&T's 5G Evolution is still an upgrade over existing network technology. As part of that, AT&T says it plans to make 5G Evolution available in over 500 markets later this year. That infrastructure will also be ready to support real 5G when the new standard is ready to be deployed. "That means that once the 5G radios are installed, we can use software to add new features and upgrades - easily and cost-efficiently". Dish and others have said that by the end of 2020 they will have half of the United States covered with 5G home Internet.