AT&T revealed a few more details about its mobile 5G deployment plans. The company said that Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung will be its 5G vendors for its mobile 5G network and that it has already started deploying standards-based 5G equipment in a handful of its early launch markets.
The company also revealed the remaining markets where it will deploy mobile 5G service this year. Those additional cities are Houston; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans; and San Antonio, Texas. These cities will join Atlanta; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Dallas and Waco, Texas; Indianapolis; and Oklahoma City.
Some of the vendor news is not particularly surprising. Ericsson has been a long-time partner of AT&T and helped it build its LTE network. Alcatel-Lucent, which was acquired by Nokia in 2016 for $17 billion, was also a key supplier for AT&T’s LTE network. AT&T’s business, however, is a big win for Samsung, which has been working hard to score 5G deals with U.S. operators. The company is a 5G vendor for Verizon’s network, as is Ericsson. Nokia, meanwhile, is a major 5G vendor for T-Mobile’s network.
What is surprising is that AT&T took so long to reveal its vendors.When SDxCentral spoke with Gordon Mansfield, AT&T’s vice president, converged access and device technology, last January, he said that although the company had a good idea of which companies it would be using for each part of the 5G network, it wasn’t ready to name its vendors. At that time, he even hinted that the company was considering some smaller or non-traditional telecom vendors.
AT&T did provide some hints of its 2019 5G plans. The company revealed some markets where it plans to launch 5G early next year. Those markets include Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; San Diego; San Francisco and San Jose, California.