AT&T Unveils 2021 5G Strategy
Download release (PDF)
AT&T Unveils 2021 5G Strategy
Long-term Investment Areas Include Sports & Venues, Entertainment, Travel & Transportation, Business Transformation, and Security & Public Safety
Between 2016 and 2020, AT&T Invested More Than $105 billion in its Wireless and Wireline Networks
As part of its Analyst & Investor Day, AT&T* shared long-term goals to bring AT&T’s fast, reliable and secure 5G to more consumers, businesses and first responders across key areas: sports and venues, entertainment, travel and transportation, business transformation, and security and public safety. And for many of our business customers, we’re marrying 5G along with edge compute technologies to deliver new, unique and secure experiences.
“Connectivity is at the heart of everything we do - 140 years and counting. From our fiber network backbone to the layers of wireless spectrum technology, we provide 5G network coverage that delivers the speeds, security and lower latency connections that customers and businesses need,” said Jeff McElfresh, CEO – AT&T Communications. “Over the past five years, AT&T has invested more capital in the U.S. than any other public company.”
Between 2016 and 2020, AT&T's total investment in the United States, including capital investment and acquisitions of spectrum and wireless operations, was more than $105 billion. Over the past five years, AT&T has invested more in the United States than any other public company.
Our 5G network now covers 230M Americans in 14,000 cities and towns and AT&T 5G+ is now available in parts of 38 cities in the U.S.1
Our ability to tap into our unique combination of assets across WarnerMedia and AT&T coupled with our fiber and mobility strengths mean we are positioned to win. During the recent C-band auction, we secured 80mhz of spectrum and a 29% share of the available licenses. We plan to deploy this mid-band spectrum starting at the end of this year and into 2022 and beyond. It will complement our nationwide 5G network on low band and allow us to deliver faster average speeds across the country. Our combination of spectrum will provide the coverage, reliability, security and speeds that customers deserve and the ability to deliver the experiences customers have told us they value – across mobility, fiber and fixed wireless internet.
Sports & Venues
We’re giving our customers more ways to experience the sports they’re passionate about by investing in infrastructure to power innovative experiences that more deeply connect fans to the action. As the first to power a 5G stadium experience at AT&T Stadium, we plan to continue giving fans richer sports experiences by deploying 5G+ in 17 venues across the country by the end of 2021 including stadiums, arenas and practice facilities. This will bring our total to 40+ 5G-connected venues. As the official 5G wireless network sponsors of the NCAA, NBA, WNBA, and MLS, AT&T will continue building out its footprint to bring interactive experiences and holographic capabilities to fans at games as well as those watching from home, while providing new ways for teams to train and operate.
Retail: Following our 5G+ deployment at the Dallas Discovery District, AT&T is working toward lighting up more than 30 company-owned retail locations with 5G+ by the end of this year. We eventually aim to revolutionize in-store shopping for our customers by demonstrating the power of 5G. From immersive AR experiences to IoT integrations, AT&T’s WarnerMedia content and innovations will help bring 5G to life for customers looking to get closer to the entertainment they love.
Gaming: We’re committed to providing gamers and developers access to our 5G through unique streaming opportunities and events. Millisecond lag time is important since gaming depends on near-instant feedback and constant interactivity. Thanks to the lower latency of AT&T 5G+, you can elevate your game by playing in near real-time without noticeable lag time or delays. It also makes way for more multi-player activity, so games become even more social and interactive. And with the added benefits of cloud gaming, AT&T customers can experience their favorite games virtually wherever they go – whether it’s in their home paired with AT&T Fiber or out and about with AT&T 5G. Stay tuned for additional gaming strategic alliances to be announced in the coming months.
Travel & Transportation
On the heels of launching 5G+ at Tampa International Airport, AT&T announced that it is working toward launching 5G+ at an additional 7 airports by the end of this year. The ongoing effort will cover major gate and concession spaces at select U.S. airports, where travelers and airport employees have the greatest need. This gives customers more seamless experiences when accessing mobile applications and streaming or downloading entertainment with a 5G+ capable device. Beyond the end-to-end airport experience, AT&T plans to expand its 5G footprint into the world of autonomous vehicles and connecting trains for seamless travel experiences.
First Nationwide Business-focused Broadband Network: We are adding fixed 5G wireless solutions to the first nationwide business-focused broadband network, which combines our AT&T Wireless Broadband and our leading business fiber network, now enhanced this week with the addition of new fixed 5G wireless solutions. Our leading business fiber network already connects more than 2.5M business customer locations nationwide. And now we’re adding more 5G power to AT&T Wireless Broadband. Beginning in April, we’re offering new fixed wireless router options from Sierra Wireless and Cradlepoint that give businesses better access to all the benefits of 5G – and the flexibility to choose the right speeds and quality of service options for their business.
Education: As we continue to move toward a post-COVID world, AT&T is working to bring 5G to numerous university campuses across the country, including University of Miami, Purdue University, and others by the end of 2021. AT&T’s 5G will provide the foundation for innovation centers, research labs and classrooms to bring VR and AR capabilities to students and professors for learning and teaching in new unprecedented environments.
Healthcare: AT&T recently announced our intention to explore 5G-powered healthcare innovations with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This includes how to use augmented and virtual reality in a variety of settings.
This engagement builds on previously announced 5G and virtual reality explorations with VITAS, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, and installing 5G and edge computing technologies to support Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC (“Ellison Institute”) new “smart” facility, which aims to create a new paradigm in cancer research and treatment, where patients and researchers, doctors and scientists have the opportunity to interact in a community environment.
5G + Edge Computing: We’ve said it for a long time – 5G and edge compute go hand in hand. Our entire edge strategy is based around what our customers actually need, where they need it, and solving real problems for them. We’re doing this with customers across multiple industries – manufacturing, public sector, healthcare, education, stadiums, retail and more.
In fact, we have business customers using on-premise edge compute (aka Multi-access Edge Compute or MEC) to deploy a private 5G network for their business. Within that private network, we're able to deploy or build the right edge computing applications and capabilities they need to solve their business's challenges.
AT&T Network Edge brings public cloud services closer to customers at our 5G and fiber network edge. We're working with cloud service providers to deliver optimized network routing to localized edge computing zones that can support latency sensitive applications without dedicated on-premises hardware. We're innovating with enterprise customers and technology providers across the ecosystem to trial a variety of use cases such as autonomous drones, video AI, synchronous media collaboration and connected vehicles. These are just a few examples of how we are helping to transform businesses with edge computing.
Security & Public Safety
Security: As more of our lives migrate online, legitimate concerns about data security, scams, and identity theft are increasing among consumers. With more than 1,000 security-related patents, AT&T has been a leader in security technology for more than a century. We monitor the security of our network 24/7 using artificial intelligence, algorithms, automation, and shared alerts from other security experts.
And from small businesses, government agencies to global enterprises, everyone needs unified protection against security threats for office, home office and roaming users. Businesses must protect their employees against these threats, while also restricting access to unauthorized content. We provide remote workforce security solutions, including AT&T’s Global Security Gateway, to protect work-from-home capabilities.
Public Sector: FirstNet is the only network built with public safety, for public safety. That means evolving to meet first responders’ needs and supporting innovative new technologies to help them stay mission ready. And that’s why our approach to 5G for public safety is unlike anything else. We’re hard at work upgrading public safety’s dedicated FirstNet network core for reliable, secure 5G. This initial infrastructure upgrade is built to intuitively provide FirstNet subscribers with the most optimal experience. Because when lives are on the line, reliability is paramount. First responders will maintain access to LTE – Band 14 spectrum plus all of AT&T’s commercial LTE spectrum bands – with always-on priority and preemption, while also gaining access to AT&T’s 5G spectrum. Currently, first responders in Houston are experiencing the early benefits of 5G+ on FirstNet. And in 2021, public safety will be able to take advantage of AT&T’s 5G in a way that meets their unique mission needs.
Additionally, AT&T is working closely with the Department of Defense surrounding its 5G exploration efforts. This includes 5G augmented and virtual reality training at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington; 5G Smart Warehousing at the Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), California; and 5G distributed command and control at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. AT&T will also bring 5G and a broad array of Networking-as-a-Service capabilities to support the work of more than 24,000 military personnel on U.S. Air Force bases Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
AT&T 5G: Fast. Reliable. Secure. AT&T has planned a balanced approach to 5G. Our strategy of deploying 5G in both sub-6 (5G) and mmWave (5G+) spectrum bands provides a great mix of speeds, latency and coverage for consumers and businesses. We rolled out nationwide 5G that now covers 230 million people, and offer 5G+ providing ultra-fast speeds to high-density areas where faster speeds can have huge impacts for our customers. So far, AT&T has deployed 5G+ nodes in parts of 38 cities across the U.S.
AT&T 5G is opening up some impressive opportunities for businesses and consumers and mid-band and mobile edge computing will help us go even further. There is an emerging multi-sided business model across 5G, edge computing and a variety of use cases from healthcare to gaming.
Our mobile edge computing plus 5G network will help satisfy the need for ultra-responsive networks and open up new possibilities for consumers and businesses. With our investments, we will take advantage of new technologies like spatial computing to enable applications across industries from manufacturing automation to watching immersive sports.
We are uniquely positioned to provide access to connectivity virtually anywhere our customers need it through AT&T Fiber and 5G. 5G-powered home or business internet on mid-band will expand our broadband footprint beyond fiber.
And now it’s easier than ever for customers to access our nationwide AT&T 5G network and even faster AT&T 5G+ because we have expanded 5G access to our previous generation unlimited plans.
Today, we announced consumers on all of our unlimited1 wireless plans get access to AT&T 5G2 included at no extra cost. Those on the AT&T Unlimited Elite plan1 get the added benefit of HBO Max3 on us. And business customers also get access to AT&T 5G included at no extra cost on our previous generation Business Unlimited plans1.
To learn about everything we’re doing around 5G, visit here.
1 AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy.
2 AT&T 5G requires compatible plan and device. 5G not available everywhere. Go to att.com/5Gforyou for details.
3 Compatible device and online account required for HBO Max access. Video may be ltd. to SD.
FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks and service marks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.