Here are the first cities to get AT&T's mobile 5G network

Dallas, Atlanta and Waco, Texas, are the first of a dozen markets to get 5G later this year.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
2 min read
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AT&T's making big promises with 5G.

Roberto Machado Noa/Getty

If you're a resident of Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, Texas, get ready to strap in for 5G.

AT&T on Tuesday said that it would connect the three cities to its mobile 5G network by the end of the year. The three cities are part of a dozen markets that are supposed to get 5G from AT&T this year. 

The announcement marks a small step toward the reality of 5G -- the next generation of wireless technology that promises heightened speeds, superior responsiveness and better coverage. 5G is seen as the foundational technology for other areas like self-driving cars and streaming virtual reality, and it starts with these early deployments. 

AT&T has said that the first 5G devices this year will be "pucks," or mobile hot spots. The first 5G-capable phones are slated to come early next year. The company added that it expects to announce additional cities to get 5G in the coming months. 

AT&T is just the latest carrier to make big promises when it comes to 5G. T-Mobile has vowed to create a nationwide mobile 5G network by 2020, and Sprint says it plans to have its nationwide 5G network up by early 2019. Verizon , meanwhile, is testing 5G as a broadband replacement service this year

As for the AT&T launch cities, Dallas is an obvious choice since it's the headquarters of AT&T. Atlanta is another logical pick because it still houses most of the company's wireless operations. Waco, about 100 miles south of Dallas, is a surprising choice given it's not part of the AT&T's list of "5G Evolution" markets, its confusing name for cities that the infrastructure for higher wireless speeds -- even if they don't qualify as actual 5G. 

Here's a list of the "5G Evolution" markets: Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; Chicago; Fresno, California; Greenville, South Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Louisville; Memphis; Minneapolis; Nashville; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Pittsburgh; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; Tulsa; and Sacramento, California.