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AT&T: Time for Partners to ‘Dig In’ to 5G

Global 5G

The AT&T 5G coverage map has hit “nationwide” status.

The Dallas-based telecommunications company made the declaration in an earnings call Thursday. CNET reports the 5G mobile network now reaches 205 million people, surpassing the Federal Communications Commission’s requirement of 200 million.

McElfresh, Jeff_AT&T

AT&T’s Jeff McElfresh

“Just as our lives have shifted in the past few months, so has our expectation of wireless technology,” said AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh. ” … Businesses, developers and consumers are already tapping into 5G’s potential. And we’re thrilled for customers across the U.S. to experience it for themselves. It’s an exciting time in technology.”

Chris Roy, vice president of AT&T Wholesale Solutions and AT&T Partner Exchange, called the 5G coverage map announcement a “big leap forward for AT&T 5G.”

Roy, Chris_AT&T

AT&T’s Chris Roy

“Whether you’re a small business or large enterprise, the opportunities with 5G are just beginning,” Roy said. “With greater reliability and faster data speeds, 5G will pave the way for new business value and opportunities. Now is the time for channel partners to dig in and get on board with the technology.”

AT&T channel executives have outlined how partners can build revenue streams through 5G. For example, the AT&T wireless broadband offering can make the company’s mobile network a broadband option.

“Enhance your technical knowledge with business and industry expertise to help your customers take advantage of 5G’s capabilities,” Roy said.

The Competition

Rival carrier T-Mobile announced a 5G network that covered 200 million people last December. AT&T and T-Mobile both use mid-band spectrum for their networks, but AT&T is also developing mmWave bands that provide faster speeds.

Chris Sambar, AT&T’s executive vice president of technology operations, said combining the two spectrum bands creates “the best mix of speeds, latency and coverage.”

“Our competitors are still working to provide that same mix, which for them could take months — or even years. What we offer is available to consumers and businesses today, and we’re not slowing down,” Sambar said. “… We’ll continue to innovate and invest in our network to expand our 5G coverage to more consumers and businesses across the country.”

AT&T CEO John Stankey said on the earnings call that the company invested an extra $1 billion into new 5G spectrum last quarter.

AT&T said business customers that already subscribe to AT&T Business Unlimited plans will be able to access 5G for no additional charge, starting Aug. 7.

Read a list of benefits on AT&T’s website. You can also read about one of the many back-and-forths between AT&T and T-Mobile.

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