NEW YORK — AT&T said it will launch mobile 5G in 12 U.S. markets this year, without revealing which markets they will be. It has dropped a hint by publicly praising three U.S. cities that have paved the way for small cells, according to rcrwireless.com.
Small cell deployments, critical to 5G, often require access to the public rights of way; city governments will thus be very involved in the development of 5G wireless networks. Carriers often target city-owned assets for the installation of sites, and may need to trench city streets to lay fiber for front-haul and/or backhaul. Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Little Rock were singled out by AT&T.
More than 80 small cells for AT&T are on-air in Indianapolis thanks to a streamlined permitting process and a maximum attachment rate of just $50 per node. AT&T has named Indianapolis as one of its 5G Evolution test markets. Minneapolis is also a 5G Evolution test market, and AT&T has plans to install about 115 small cell nodes there.
Minnesota and Indiana are among a handful of states that have adopted small cell legislation. Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, and Virgina have also passed laws to facilitate small cell deployments. Arkansas has not yet passed a state law regarding small cells, but Little Rock has set the maximum small cell permitting time at 60 days. The company plans to deploy more than 100 nodes in the city this year, according to the article.