While all carriers have been excited about 5G networks, AT&T went a bit overboard by rebranding its advanced 4G tech (delivering '5G-equivalent speeds' via millimeter wave) as the misleading "5GE" (for 5G Evolution), which led Sprint to sue AT&T. In any case, the latter carrier does have plans to implement true sub-6 GHz 5G across its network this year – so what phones will you be able to use on it? Per a press release, AT&T planned to roll out 5G in 12 smaller cities by the end of 2018: Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C. In the first half of 2019, the carrier expects to expand this to nine cities in large markets: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, Calif. Two more cities, Minneapolis and Chicago, have been added to this year's list.
AT&T is standing by its 5GE branding, saying that it is right to communicate to customers when they are in a faster zone. Speaking during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona, AT&T Business CEO Thaddeus Arroyo told ZDNet that 5GE is distinct from the carrier's 5G service. "I think if you look at 5GE, and this is the evolution platform that we've created and then that will become the foundation upon which we build 5G, these are two separate platforms," Arroyo said. "So what's important for us is when a customer is in a 5GE environment, which ultimately provides them access to faster speeds when they have the right device. When they have the right network, we want them to know they're in an environment that's going to perform better. AT&T's 5GE messaging lets customers know when their compatible device is in a 5G Evolution area, providing speeds and coverage that all other carriers are calling LTE Advanced. The 5GE branding caused an uproar among its rival carriers, with Sprint even filing a lawsuit earlier this month claiming that it is false and misleading, and is causing Sprint to lose revenue. Read also: Did AT&T trick your business into paying for fake 5G? Sprint lawsuit says yes (TechRepublic) T-Mobile -- which plans to merge with Sprint this year -- likewise mocked AT&T's 5GE branding last month, while Verizon CTO Kyle Malady criticised the move. AT&T announced its 5G network going live in mid-December in parts of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco, Atlanta, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, and Raleigh. In the first half of 2019, it will also be switched on across Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Nashville, as well as in Chicago and Minneapolis. Arroyo said AT&T is working with Samsung, Nokia, and Ericsson on providing the tech behind its 5G deployments. CTO Andre Fuetsch this week told ZDNet that AT&T will be bringing Samsung's 5G smartphones onto the network later this year, as well as its existing home broadband Nighthawk router. The chief technology officer also spoke on how the 5G Massive MIMO antennas could actually open up new enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities thanks to more precise location data. "What's really unique about that technology that we'll be deploying is it has characteristics such as beamforming, which allows us ... [to] send a stream directly to your device," Fuetsch said. "It actually allows you to know exactly where that device is, and so now you've just kind of opened up this whole new world of very precise location, and that's something we've never been able to do before.
Waze Carpool, the navigation program's carpooling service, announced Tuesday it will expand to several counties throughout the Bay Area, according to Forbes. Through Waze Carpool, users can connect with other people nearby to easily carpool to and from work. While Waze Carpool was originally limited to the San Francisco area when it launched last year, the updated coverage area includes all nine major counties within the Bay Area, Sacramento County and Monterey County. At the moment, Waze aims to roll out Carpool at a slower pace. Drivers can apply for Carpool by providing basic information that includes a LinkedIn profile and vehicle registration details.
Many of California's local law enforcement agencies have access to facial recognition software for identifying suspects who appear in crime scene footage, documents obtained through public records requests show. Three California counties also have the capability to run facial recognition searches on each others' mug shot databases, and others could join if they choose to opt into a network maintained by a private law enforcement software company. The network is called California Facial Recognition Interconnect, and it's a service offered by DataWorks Plus, a Greenville, South Carolina–based company with law enforcement contracts in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Barbara. Currently, the three adjacent counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino are able to run facial recognition against mug shots in each other's databases. That means these police departments have access to about 11.7 million mug shots of people who have previously been arrested, a majority of which come from the Los Angeles system.
AT&T has announced that it will be bringing 5G to five more cities by the end of 2018, with mobile services to launch in Houston, New Orleans, San Antonio, Jacksonville, and Louisville. The carrier also announced that it is planning to launch mobile 5G services in parts of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose in early 2019. The 12 new cities slated to receive 5G from AT&T join the previously announced Dallas, Atlanta, Waco, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Oklahoma City. Across its 19 5G deployments, AT&T said it has selected Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung as its vendors. "Working with these three suppliers, we've already started deploying 3GPP Release 15 compliant equipment in a handful of our early 5G cities," AT&T said.