What’s Your Favorite Flavor of 5G? Good News – AT&T Has Both!

Mo Katibeh, EVP-Chief Marketing Officer AT&T Business  |  February 12, 2020


Note: The following blog is based on comments made by Mo Katibeh at the “5G: The Future Is Now” event at The Policy Forum at AT&T on Feb. 11 in Washington, D.C.

I have an important question for you: Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Raisin cookies?

I’m sure you’re wondering what in the heck cookies has to do with 5G. Well, let me tell you.

5G technology comes in different flavors and you can easily compare it to chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin.

For today, why don’t we go with a chocolate chip example?

At AT&T, the service we call 5G runs on sub-6 spectrum. That’s the same spectrum bands that your smartphone today runs on. Those radio waves do a great job of carrying your calls and data sessions over wide geographic area and through the walls of buildings.

We’re rolling out that service now – with plans for nationwide coverage in the second quarter.

Think of 5G as the nice soft, delicious golden brown part of the cookie.

But there’s also another flavor of 5G that runs on millimeter wave spectrum. We call it 5G+. It’s ultra-fast. Like crazy fast, but it doesn’t carry very far. And we are finding that we can bring 5G+ service to, and it works great, at specific businesses and high-traffic areas. Manufacturing plants. Hospitals. Stadiums.

Think of 5G+ as the chocolate chip. Sweet. Intense.

Here’s why this is important as you compare AT&T to other companies who are deploying 5G. Some are all about the cookie. Some are all about the chips.

At AT&T, we want to give you both. That will mean a coverage experience for consumers and business employees with widespread 5G and an ultrafast 5G+ experience in specific locations. And as you’ll see, that’s good news for consumers but also for enterprise customers looking to transform their businesses.

And even better news – 2020 is the year that 5G goes mainstream.

Here’s where we are today. AT&T currently has 5G service on sub-6 spectrum in 45 markets – available to 50 million people. We have our ultra-fast 5G+ millimeter wave service in parts of 35 cities.

Of course, coverage is not much good to consumers or businesses if it doesn’t have devices to attach to it!

That’s why we just announced that we would be adding another three 5G smartphones from Samsung’s S20 line. These devices will be available online and in AT&T stores starting March 6, 2020. And it only gets bigger from here – we expect to have 15 sub-6 5G devices on sale by the end of the year.

In my years with AT&T, I’ve lived through a few generations of wireless technology. The introduction of 5G technology is – without question – the smoothest transition I’ve ever experienced. The fact that networks are maturing at the same time that devices are becoming available does not happen by accident.

As a result, the United States is one of the world leaders in rolling out 5G technology. 2020 will be a pivotal point in the maturity of the 5G ecosystem as networks become nationwide, devices proliferate, and new applications come to market.

Since business customers are my focus, let me tell you how they are using 5G to create transformational experiences – and that brings us back to those chocolate chips. Those sweet, intense bits inside the cookie. Or in our analogy, those ultra-fast coverage zones that businesses and consumers are craving.

You know why businesses are craving this ultra-fast coverage? They see a way to transform processes… create efficiencies… do things they have never been able to do before for both their employees, and their customers.

After all, many of the efficiencies that the mobile internet and smartphones brought to businesses are now a decade old. Believe it or not, there was a time in the not-so-distant past where you did not have mobile broadband at your fingertips. Where you could not access your email, spreadsheets and presentations on the fly. Where it was not possible to use an app to access a rideshare service.

Those were dark days, my friends. Dark days indeed.

Now, mobile broadband is table stakes for any business – whether it’s your favorite neighborhood store or a Fortune 100 company.

Many of the use cases we think of as commonplace may have been unthinkable 20 years ago. Today, we stand on the dawn of a new decade with a host of new opportunities. I want to share a few of these with you.

In the last year, we’ve launched unique 5G experiences in manufacturing with Samsung Austin Semiconductor and in sports and entertainment at AT&T Stadium with the Dallas Cowboys, before the Big Game in Miami, and as part of NBA All Star Game! We’re helping create a “Smart Base of the Future” at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and a smart health building at the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC. We’re also working with The Washington Post on using 5G to explore the future of news.

And there’s more to come. A lot more.

Creating a technology revolution isn’t for the faint of heart or the impatient.

When I’ve spoken on 5G before, I’ve often compared it to the introduction of electricity in its potential to transform the business landscape.

I still believe that. Whether it’s healthcare, manufacturing, retail, finance or public sector – or a news organization – 5G will help businesses accomplish things that they have never been able to before.

To accomplish that will take a variety of companies from many parts of the ecosystem working together. That’s why AT&T is working with companies like Microsoft, IBM, HPE on 5G and associated cloud and edge computing solutions – bringing together infrastructure, device manufacturers and startups.

As the father of electricity, Thomas Edison once said: “There are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”

3G, 4G, 5G . . .  what’s the difference?

There’s a big difference – it’s a revolution.

The Policy Forum at AT&T Team  |  February 3, 2020


First, in speed, latency, and network design.  When fully deployed, it’s predicted that 5G in some locations could offer speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G.  Also, 5G is designed to have lower latency than 4G, and combining that with “edge” network offerings will make it even more useful for many applications.  As Mo Katibeh of AT&T Business notes, “lower latency and mass connectivity are just as important [as speed] in transforming businesses.  Or if you’re a manufacturer who is using video as a sensor to conduct quality control on a production line, that lower latency is key to creating new efficiencies.”

Second, in security.  Thanks to innovations in network design and wireless technology, the 5G network is being designed to be even more secure, agile, and resilient than prior generations.  At the edge, security will be embedded to combat attacks and prevent them from spreading.  Encryption will become stronger, which will be critical for consumer applications such as the devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Businesses are taking the innovation that 5G represents and applying their own innovations to help their companies thrive.  In particular, the unique architecture of 5G helps determine how business can best take advantage of it.  For many businesses, this means pushing applications to the edge of the network for even lower latency and faster data processing, along with security built in there.

For instance, at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, AT&T’s 5G solutions, led by Multi-Access Edge Computing, a cloud-based service at the edge of the network, enable faster data handling and a better patient experience.  And 5G brings innovation to factories.  The AT&T and Samsung collaboration on smart manufacturing at Samsung Austin Semiconductor will impact efficiency, safety, and security while bringing 5G innovations to operations such as automation and training.

All this requires a close collaboration between AT&T and the enterprise to meet customer requirements and to maximize the potential of 5G.

But this revolution is only beginning.  On February 11 at the AT&T Policy Forum, come hear Mo Katibeh, EVP-Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T Business, speak about how businesses are already using 5G for innovation.  He’ll be joined by John Godfrey, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at Samsung; Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council; Shailesh Prakash, CIO of the Washington Post; and Karen S. Rheuban, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the UVA Center for Telehealth.

With strong competition among carriers in the U.S. – helped by policies that encourage getting 5G-usable spectrum into the hands of network operators – the U.S. is winning the global race to 5G.  Now, business can begin to take advantage of all 5G can offer – and discover new innovations not yet imagined.

AT&T and The Washington Post Team Up to Build the Future of Digital Storytelling

AT&T and The Washington Post are working together on the future of digital storytelling. Teams at both companies will experiment with new formats and see what immersive journalism can do better as the world is increasingly connected to 5G.

Tyndall Air Force Base Will Use AT&T 5G Services, Become a “Smart Base of the Future”

The U.S. Air Force is working with AT&T to help it create a “Smart Base of the Future” at Tyndall Air Force Base (Tyndall). AT&T expects to light up 5G service on the base as early as mid-2020.

Purdue’s College of Engineering Conducting Research with AT&T 5G

Purdue University’s College of Engineering is working with AT&T to create a test bed for 5G-based research and development at its Purdue Research Lab. Located in the newly launched Indiana 5G Zone, the lab will use AT&T’s 5G+ millimeter wave (5G+) and commercially available Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technologies to help solve societal challenges like disaster recovery in rural, agricultural areas and explore new use cases for where business and community intersect – like smart cities.

Transforming Businesses with 5G and Magic Leap’s Spatial Computing

AT&T Business decided to push the limits to see how we could make the “phygital” world — where the physical and digital worlds are seamlessly intertwined — work for business by combining spatial computing with our ultra-fast 5G millimeter wave technology at our inaugural AT&T Business Hackathon with Magic Leap.

AT&T Reinvents the Live Sports Experience

AT&T puts fans at AT&T Stadium at the center of the action in the nation’s first 5G-enabled stadium. Throughout the season we will offer four unique 5G activations that will begin to change the way fans interact with the game.

AT&T and Badger Technologies Bringing 5G-Enabled Autonomous Robots to Retail

AT&T and Badger Technologies™, a product division of Jabil, are working together to accelerate retail automation using autonomous robots with 5G wireless networking capabilities.

AT&T Becomes Member at MxD Manufacturing Research Institute to Boost 5G Innovation

AT&T and MxD announced they are working together to help accelerate the deployment of 5G to the U.S. manufacturing industry.

AT&T and Microsoft Alliance to Deliver Cloud, AI, and 5G Innovation

AT&T Communications and Microsoft are embarking on an extensive, multiyear alliance where the two companies will apply technologies, including cloud, AI, and 5G, to improve how people live and work today and in the future.

5G at the AT&T Foundry

Nowhere is 5G’s promise currently more powerful than in enterprise. And that’s because we don’t have to wait for nationwide coverage to see how 5G will forever change the way we do business. We’re already using live 5G millimeter wave to create this future right now at the AT&T Foundry. And once again, our business customers are looking for guidance on how to turn a revolutionary technology into a financial and competitive advantage.

AT&T and Samsung Bring 5G to Life for the Manufacturing Industry

AT&T Business, Samsung Austin Semiconductor, and Samsung Electronics America are unveiling the first manufacturing-focused 5G Innovation Zone in America, researching applications designed to improve efficiency, safety, security, and operational performance within the manufacturing industry.

AT&T and Uber Exploring Applications for 5G in Air Taxis and Drones

AT&T will explore with Uber how LTE, and eventually 5G connectivity, can enhance next-generation electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) and cargo drones.

AT&T and LiveU Team Up on 5G for Live News and Sports Broadcasts

AT&T and LiveU are working together to bring 5G to LiveU’s HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) bonding portable transmission solutions. 

5 Facts on AT&T 5G

5G will ultimately change how you live, work, and play, and will help businesses increase efficiency, empower workers, and drive innovation in ways we can only imagine.

Three Pillars of 5G Bring the Business Experience into the Future

Our approach to 5G in business isn’t focused on just one solution, but instead brings multiple pillars that reflect our customers’ diversity and needs. We’re building our networks to allow fiber-based connectivity and LTE to work efficiently in parallel with 5G solutions, maximizing the impact of a business’s transformation.

1.5 Gbps Achieved in Field Test on Commercial 5G Network

On February 8, 2019, AT&T successfully tested a new software update on our live commercial 5G+ network, which resulted in speeds over 1.5 Gbps.

AT&T and Microsoft Test Network Edge Compute Capabilities to Enhance 5G for Business

We’re testing how to bring network edge compute (NEC) capabilities into the AT&T 5G network with Microsoft Azure.

AT&T Continues to Bring 5G Experiences to Life

5G will ultimately unlock use cases that are dependent on faster speed, wide coverage, and low latency. Think of this as the next frontier in untethering, giving you the ability to take the ultra-fast experience you have in your home or business with you virtually anywhere.

AT&T Completes the World’s First Millimeter Wave Mobile 5G Browsing Session

In October 2018, we successfully completed the world’s first millimeter wave mobile 5G browsing session with a standards-based device on our mobile 5G network.

Mobile 5G Ecosystem Evolves

In December of 2018, AT&T became the first and only company in the U.S. to offer a mobile 5G device over a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network.

AT&T Drives Path to Nationwide Mobile 5G With Multi-Gigabit Speeds

2018 will be the year you can experience mobile 5G from AT&T. We’re working on an aggressive schedule to help ensure customers can enjoy mobile 5G when we launch the network this year. We will add more 5G capable mobile devices and smartphones in early 2019 and beyond.

AT&T is Deploying White Box Hardware in Cell Towers to Power Mobile 5G Era

AT&T plans to be the first to mobile 5G in the United States. To power our new network this year and beyond, we’re building our towers and small cells in a radically new way.

The 5G Future for Business

We expect 5G will offer businesses so much more than just faster speeds. 5G will unlock experiences of the future like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Not only will 5G modernize businesses, it will disrupt entire industries.

Future Mobile 5G

The 5th Generation of mobile networks — 5G — will be a software-defined, data-powered network with blazing fast internet speeds. 5G technology will help us connect more devices faster, enable lower latency uses, increase battery life, and handle more data — like surging video growth on mobile networks.

AT&T is in a unique position to support next-generation applications quickly and efficiently thanks to our Software-Defined Network, Big Data and Open Source network approach, combined with our broadband build-out commitment to millions of locations throughout the United States.

5G – Next Generation Mobile Network

5G will transform the way you work, play, and enjoy entertainment, and we expect to be the first U.S. company to introduce mobile 5G service in a dozen markets by late 2018.

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