AT&T’s 5G Home Internet and Wireless Service Just Got a Speed Boost in More Places




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AT&T in-car wifi

AT&T on Tuesday said that its upgraded network, which is working with more radio airwaves, now reaches 200 million people.

The Dallas telecommunications giant has been working to incorporate so-called mid-band spectrum, radio airwaves that offer a good mix of range and speed, into its network. In July, the company said the mid-band spectrum reached 175 million people, meaning it saw a gain of about 14% in coverage over the back half of the year.

The upgrade is important because that mid-band spectrum will help it play catch-up with leaders Verizon and, in particular, T-Mobile. The Un-carrier had a significant advantage because it acquired its mid-band spectrum from its 2020 deal to buy Sprint, and has raced through its network upgrades. AT&T and Verizon, which has also been deploying mid-band spectrum, got their radio airwaves from a Federal Communications Commission auction in 2021, and just got access to much of it this year.

When it comes to offering strong wireless coverage, having the right mix of spectrum is important. The C-band spectrum that AT&T and Verizon are utilizing in their upgrades will offer a boost in speed and capacity, meaning more people can run network-taxing applications on their network without slowing things down for everyone around them.

Just as important, the network upgrades will allow AT&T to bolster its 5G home internet service just as its starting to expand it to new markets across the country. AT&T is behind T-Mobile and Verizon when it comes to 5G home internet, which has exploded in popularity, but has seen quick growth in the few markets where it’s available. Cord Cutting 2.0, or the idea of cutting the physical broadband cord through methods like satellite-based or 5G internet services, has built up a lot of momentum over the last year.

AT&T CEO John Stankey said during a UBS investor conference on Tuesday that he sees 5G home internet as a way to quickly retain or add customers while it works to roll out faster and more reliable fiber-optic-based internet service.

Image credit: AT&T

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