AT&T, the US telecoms giant, has confirmed plans to begin rolling out 5G services to 12 markets by the end of 2018.
The company's announcement comes after 3GPP, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, the group behind the 5G standard, finalised a range of 5G New Radio standards just last month.
The company described the move as an "ambitious milestone" and added that it will have the first 5G networks set up before the end of 2018.
Melissa Arnold, president of technology and operations at the company, said that AT&T is "moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year".
She continued: "With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video, and more."
Although the company is looking to focus on 5G over the next few years, 4G/LTE will continue to predominate for the foreseeable future, with LTE-LAA network being implemented in 24 US metropolitan areas in 2018.
On top of this, the telco revealed that its 5G Evolution network is now operating in 23 metropolitan areas across the US. These include New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
"While we are rolling out mobile 5G in 2018, we also plan to continue to enhance our network with 5G Evolution technology in hundreds of additional metro areas," explained the company.
It added: "We will give you more options to access our latest wireless network offers by making additional 5G Evolution-capable devices available throughout the year."
In the near future, AT&T will also extend its fibre network to more locations, and is also in the process of bringing G.fast wired gigabit-internet technology to 21 US states.
The company also claimed that its fixed wireless network will reach a total of 660,000 locations in 2018.
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