AT&T to expand 5G mobile service to San Diego
SAN DIEGO — AT&T announced an expansion Tuesday of its 5G mobile services to San Diego and six other cities across the country.
San Diego is now one of 19 cities with access to the company’s fledgling 5G network. On Monday, chief competitor Verizon entered into a partnership with the city to eventually expand its own 5G network to San Diego. AT&T also made 5G mobile service available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Austin, Nashville and Orlando, Florida.
“Last December we officially introduced the nation’s first commercial mobile 5G service,” said Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and the company’s chief technology officer. “We spent the early part of this year accelerating and advancing our 5G network with early adopters by our side. And now it’s time to offer this experience to more businesses and consumers in another seven cities.”
The 5G rollout for both telecommunications giants has been shaky, at best. Verizon launched its network services in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis last week, but a report by The Verge found coverage patches to be relatively sparse and dependent on a number of factors like close proximity to a 5G signal node and whether the device was inside a building.
AT&T’s competitors have accused the company of misleading business practices in its 5G rollout, with Sprint going so far as to sue the company. Some AT&T customers have noticed that the icon showing their smartphone’s connection now reads “5G E,” leading them to believe they are connected to the next-generation network.
AT&T later revealed that 5G E stands for 5G Evolution, and is simply a re-brand of their existing LTE mobile services. San Diego and the other 18 cities included in the true 5G rollout will have access to faster speeds and improved network latency once the company launches more compatible devices.
The company plans to offer at least three smartphones this year that are compatible with its 5G network, including a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S10. AT&T expects to expand its 5G network across the country by next year.