AT&T’s 5G buildout continues to grow even as the calendar flipped to 2020. On Friday the carrier announced that it has expanded its millimeter-wave 5G rollout to parts of 10 more cities at the tail end of 2019, giving AT&T 35 total cities where it has the speedy new service available.
Shared in a company blog post Friday, the list of 10 new cities includes Cleveland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Miami and Miami Gardens, Florida, Ocean City, Maryland, and Menlo Park, Oakland, Redwood City and San Bruno, California.
As with earlier millimeter-wave deployments, this flavor of 5G — which AT&T calls 5G Plus — will only work in parts of each of the cities and will not cover the whole area, unlike AT&T’s low-band 5G or traditional 4G LTE (what AT&T calls “5GE”). The millimeter-wave network is much faster than low-band 5G or 4G, however, offering speeds of nearly 2Gbps in our brief test last year.
While T-Mobile still has an overall 5G lead with its low-band network covering 200 million people nationwide, by adding the additional cities AT&T can now claim the advantage in millimeter-wave coverage with its count of 35 topping Verizon’s total of 31 that it hit late in 2019.
Verizon, however, does allow anyone to buy one of its millimeter-wave 5G devices for use on its network whereas AT&T’s only current 5G phone for consumers, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, only works on its low-band 5G service that is only live in 19 markets and is not compatible with millimeter-wave.
Devices that work on both millimeter-wave and low-band 5G are expected to arrive this year.