News about AT&T’s latest streaming service and overall financials garnered most of the headlines on Thursday, but two other news items are important to wireless customers and first responders:

AT&T announced its next-generation 5G service is now available across the US.

And its FirstNet network for first responders and other government agencies has more tha 1.5 million connections with 13,000 agencies signing on.

Notes VentureBeat:

“AT&T is now the second U.S. carrier with a nationwide 5G network, joining T-Mobile, which launched a similarly large offering in December 2019 using long distance but slow low band towers. But T-Mobile’s low band 5G peaks at speeds around 225Mbps, nowhere near the 2Gbps peaks seen in Verizon’s all but unusably small 5G network, while promising only a 20% improvement over 4G speeds on average. AT&T’s low band 5G network is expected to deliver comparable performance but is using a technology called DSS to dynamically split prior 4G spectrum between 4G and 5G phones as user demand fluctuates.”

As for FirstNet, Urgent Communications reports:

“FirstNet is supporting more than 1.5 million connections that are being used by more than 13,000 subscribing agencies through June, representing an adoption rate that likely doubles the number of FirstNet connections reported at this time last year, according to figures released by AT&T, the nationwide contractor for FirstNet …

“AT&T CFO John Stephens said that AT&T’s buildout of FirstNet “continues to run ahead of plan” and noted the role that the FirstNet deployment has played in allowing AT&T to offer low-band 5G nationwide.”

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