Cord-cutting is a game changer. Now, the game of cord-cutting itself is about to change as well. As we announced last year, AT&T was expecting to roll out 5G in 2018. While the exact date of the roll-out wasn’t confirmed, the mass media company announced that the process was going quicker than they expected with 20 metros getting the service by the end of 2017. Now in March 2018, 5G is almost a reality.
AT&T has begun the process of placing white box cell towers onto poles. This is what will power the 5G signal. Chief Technology Officer and President of AT&T Labs, Andre Fuetsch, spoke of this roll-out,
“White box represents a radical realignment of the traditional service provider model We’re no longer constrained by the capabilities of proprietary silicon and feature roadmaps of traditional vendors. We’re writing open hardware specifications for these machines, and developing the open source software that powers these boxes. This means faster hardware upgrades, since anyone can build to these specs. And software upgrades that move at internet speed. We’re doing this all while keeping costs low so we can focus on expanding our nationwide mobile 5G footprint for our customers as quickly as possible.”
Due to this update, AT&T no longer has to physically go to each tower to make an update. Everything will be handled remotely. For right now, 12 of these white boxes are in metro areas. While the areas are not confirmed, the following will get 5G in their home by the end of the year:
5G hotspots and mobile phones will be available in early 2019.