AT&T to offer Samsung 5G smartphone in first half of 2019

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AT&T is also working with Samsung to create a manufacturing-focused 5G Innovation Zone. (FierceWireless)

Just a day after rival Verizon announced a 5G smartphone with Samsung, AT&T said it will offer a 5G smartphone from Samsung in the first half of 2019.

It will be AT&T’s first announced 5G smartphone but second mobile 5G device; in October, it announced it will be offering the Netgear Nighthawk 5G mobile hotspot this year in select markets. The hotspot is powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem.

Verizon yesterday announced it will release a Samsung 5G smartphone in the U.S. in the first half of 2019 powered by Qualcomm. The companies are showing a proof of concept at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui this week; that device uses the Snapdragon Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem and antenna modules.

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AT&T also noted that it’s working with Samsung to create a manufacturing-focused 5G Innovation Zone, the goal of which is to use 5G to enable new robotic manufacturing capabilities. AT&T expects that future smart factories will be filled with 5G-connected sensors that can channel real-time information about equipment performance, ranging from vibration to noise data.

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So far, AT&T has installed mobile 5G network equipment in areas in the 12 markets where it plans to make 5G available in 2018: Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas; Houston; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Oklahoma City; New Orleans; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio and Waco, Texas.

AT&T plans to expand service in the first half of 2019 to parts of seven additional cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, California.

In September, AT&T named Samsung as one of its technology suppliers to help build its mobile 5G network. Long-time vendors Ericsson and Nokia are also supplying 5G network gear to AT&T. 

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Ericsson now has commercial 5G RAN contracts with South Korea’s three major mobile operators.

The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T has hired bankers at Centerview Partners and Goldman Sachs Group in the talks with Elliott.

MWC Los Angeles 2019 kicks off in just a few days, with vertical industries being drawn into the mobile conversation.