AT&T Rolls Out New Network Technologies Amidst Spectrum Battle


As we continue to speed ahead towards 5G, and the looming threat of a data demand bottleneck hangs over the entire wireless industry, AT&T is engaged in a heated battle with Verizon over the acquisition of Straight Path Communications in an effort to secure additional spectrum which will be utilized for future 5G networks, spectrum currently licensed by Straight Path. AT&T also announced this week the public roll out of a new service taking advantage of advancements in Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 that allow the phones to utilize new network capabilities previously held back by limitations of earlier smart phones. All of this is laying the early stage foundations of the industry’s evolution to 5G as the standards are still being finalized.

Calling it 5G Evolution℠, the service will be available to select customers in Austin, Texas, and will be rolled out in over twenty major American cities by the end of the year, working to meet the demand for data on existing spectrum as the industry makes the shift over the next several years to mmWave backed true 5G networks once the standards are set.

Commenting on the company’s plans, John Donovan, AT&T’s chief strategy officer and group president for Technology and Operations stated “Our 5G Evolution plans will pave the way to the next-generation of higher speeds for customers. We’re not waiting until the final standards are set to lay the foundation for our evolution to 5G. We’re executing now,” he continued, “Data on our mobile network has increased about 250,000% since 2007, and the majority of that traffic is video. 5G’s promise of greater speed and overall network performance brings huge opportunities not only for video but in the Internet of Things, 4K video, augmented and virtual reality, smart home and cities, autonomous vehicles and much more.”

To help increase the capability for their future mmWave 5G networks, AT&T has actively been trying to acquire Straight Path Communications. Straight Path currently possess 735 mmWave licenses in the 39 GHz band and 133 licenses in the 28 GHz band. Some of these licenses are even in major national markets, which makes the attempts by the telecom giant to procure the company even more enticing.

AT&T had offered a bid of $1.6 billion for the company, and it explains why they didn’t invest as heavily into the recent Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction as some of their competitors. However, Verizon has issued a competing bid – of $1.8 billion. AT&T has been given just five days to respond and bring a higher bid to the table, otherwise they’ll lose out on the deal and all the wireless capability this acquisition offers.

The impact of the acquisition of Straight Path’s spectrum by either AT&T or Verizon, and new network technologies being built that are now unlocked by increasingly capable smart phones, will have profound effects industry-wide for years to come.




About Brandon Zachary

Brandon Zachary is the editor and head writer for - helping you keep posted on the newest shifts and changes in the world of telecommunications and wireless technology.

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