Speaking during company’s Q4 call, CEO said wireless broadband standard will evolve from ‘mobile-first’ beginnings

Making clear AT&T’s intentions to compete with wireline broadband providers over the next decade, the wireless company’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, said that the 5G standard will evolve over the next three to five years into a “fixed broadband replacement product."

“I am very convicted that that will be the case. We are obviously on a standards-based path that is mobile first,” said Stephenson Wednesday during AT&T’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

Related: Stephenson: AT&T Will Be ‘Assertive’ in Content Negotiations

In December, AT&T launched 3GPP-based service mobile 5G NR service to a handful of business users in select markets. As 5G-capable smart phones become available over the course of 2019 and 2020, AT&T will primarily focus its development of 5G services toward the mobile market.

This is in contrast to Verizon, which launched fixed wireless 5G services to a small number of users in October, declaring its intention to claim the American residence right off the bat. T-Mobile and Sprint, meanwhile, aim to have fixed wireless service enabled as part of their merger. 

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