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AT&T Taps Synergies Between Its 5G and FirstNet Build-Outs

December 07, 2018 / Linda Hardesty

AT&T’s President of Operations Scott Mair said this week that he has three priorities: the company’s FirstNet emergency responder network; its network upgrade to 5G; and the carrier’s ongoing fiber build. But luckily, the FirstNet build-out is actually helping with the 5G build-out. Speaking at the Barclays Global Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Broker Conference yesterday, Mair said, “So the beautiful thing around FirstNet is: it’s really a reason to go touch the towers. And as we’re touching the towers, we’re implementing what we call our 5G Evolution program. And what that means is when we touch a tower, we’re actually upgrading that tower.” The capabilities that AT&T is putting at the towers are carrier aggregation, improved modulation techniques, and 4×4 MIMO. “Those towers will support 400 Mb/s peak speeds,” said Mair, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “And I always like to say,...