Courtesy of AT&T

AT&T announced Monday that it planned to introduce mobile 5G technology to five cities, including Louisville, this year.

The new mobile 5G technology is believed to be capable of going beyond just increasing the capacity and speed of smartphones but also expand the capability of augmented/virtual reality and the “internet of things,” particularly self-driving cars.

Joe Burgan, the local spokesman for AT&T, told Insider he could not provide further details related to the areas in which such services would be available in the city.

While the details are still lacking, Mayor Greg Fischer issued a statement expressing his excitement about what Louisville’s selection could mean for the city.

“From autonomous vehicles and smart cities to advancing digital inclusion, 5G networks have the ability to fundamentally change the way we live and work, which is why we’re excited to be among the first cities in the country to receive this innovative service,” Fischer said.

The AT&T news release referenced a breakthrough in wireless 5G data transfer over the weekend using millimeter waves — one of the key components of the coming fifth-generation technology — with AT&T chief technology officer Andrea Fuetsch declaring that “we’re at the dawn of something new that will define the next decade and generation of connectivity.”

“Future smart factories and retailers, self-driving cars, untethered virtual and augmented realities, and other yet to be discovered experiences will grow up on tomorrow’s 5G networks,” Fuetsch said in the release. “Much like 4G introduced the world to the gig economy, mobile 5G will jump-start the next wave of unforeseen innovation.”

In addition to Louisville, the cities of Houston, Jacksonville, New Orleans and San Antonio are part of the 5G rollout this year. The other cities that AT&T has announced plans to introduce mobile 5G are Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh and Waco. AT&T also plans to announce an expansion next year to parts of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

Below is a video tutorial on some of the technologies that could enable 5G networks:

Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]


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