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A photo of the AT&T 5G logo

AT&T is planning to broaden its 5G choices within the subsequent two years.
Photograph: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo

Each provider is out to show they’ve the very best 5G community round, however how that’s performed out it’s, properly, complicated—to say the least.

AT&T says it’s “aggressively testing” and getting ready for its subsequent 5G growth, based on an organization blog submit Tuesday. The provider introduced it’s constructing out its community with C-band spectrum, which might assist improve AT&T’s total 5G protection.

Up till now, AT&T has provided two distinct speeds of 5G. There’s 5G+, which operates over a high-band mmWave spectrum and is the quickest model of 5G, although solely over brief distances. There’s additionally common 5G, which makes use of low-band spectrum and isn’t that a lot sooner than LTE. And there’s 5G E, which is definitely 4G LTE and never 5G in any respect, so that you’d be forgiven for being confused over what all of this really means.

Basically, C-band spectrum will enable AT&T to construct out the slower however extra dependable sort of 5G community, which can broaden the provider’s protection and assist improve the typical speeds throughout the board. AT&T will use a 5G+ indicator for each its lightning quick mmWave community and its slower however extra expansive C-Band community.

Till now, T-Cell has been the one provider to supply all three forms of 5G, together with a slower-speed sub-6GHz 5G that’s utilized to extend vary, whereas mid-band and mmWave spectrums assist in delivering on speeds. T-Cell emphasised its mid-band protection for years, whereas Verizon and AT&T centered on constructing out mmWave. That technique might have been misguided. The latter two carriers snapped up C-band spectrum earlier this yr, however Verizon solely permits a sure tier of subscribers to entry its C-band and mmWave spectrum, and also you’ll must pay further to entry it.

AT&T says that it’ll begin deploying the C-band spectrum in a few months. It plans to cowl 70-75 million individuals within the U.S. by the top of subsequent yr, and as much as 200 million by 2023.

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