AT&T previously said that upgrades to its 5G network are coming along faster than expected. You can look to Houston as proof.
The Houston Chronicle reported that 100% of the greater Houston area now has access to AT&T’s enhanced 5G coverage, which taps into the C-band spectrum it spent billions to acquire back in 2021.
Houston is the latest example of how AT&T has utilized the additional so-called mid-band spectrum to boost the speed and capacity of its 5G network.
In August, AT&T said it would complete the upgrade four months ahead of its scheduled deadline in December as satellite companies finished clearing the remaining C-band spectrum faster than expected.
That means AT&T got access to the spectrum much earlier than anticipated and was able to more quickly tap into the company’s available C-band spectrum for deployment.
“We’ve since re-tuned our previously deployed C-band in the original 46 locations, resulting in notable capacity and speed gains, and ultimately an enhanced customer experience with fast, reliable, and consistent performance,” AT&T said, according to CNET.
Locations that can expect increased speeds, less lag, better data capacities, and less congested towers include Austin, Texas, Boston, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. More than 175 million people have access to AT&T’s mid-band 5G network, and another 290 million with a lower-band 5G connection.
AT&T was not available to comment on which cities will be completed next.
In 2021, AT&T spent $27.4 billion on C-band waves and another $9.1 billion to purchase some complementary mid-band spectrum the following year. AT&T, along with Verizon and T-Mobile, had to wait for satellite internet providers to move off the spectrum so these terrestrial services could utilize the bands they bought.
Customers with 5G capable phones can connect to C-band coverage without upgrading their devices. However, AT&T has yet to comment if some current customers will need to buy a new phone to access the full capabilities of the spectrum. Those seeing a “5G+” icon on their phones are already connected.