AT&T Sign Deal to Build ‘At Scale’ US 5G Smart City

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Illustrative view of National Landing, where JBG Smith and AT&T plan to develop a 5G smart city.

AT&T recently announced they had signed a letter of intent with real-estate developer JBG Smith, aiming to build the full-scale smart city in the US.

The agreement will see AT&T build a 5G network in the National Landing neighbourhood of Crystal City, Virginia. JBG Smith reportedly owns 6.8 million square feet of office space and 2,856 residential units, with a further 802 units under construction. It also owns 7.2 million square feet of additional space that could yet be developed.

AT&T suggest that the 5G network will primarily make use of sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum, with infrastructure making use of building side-mounts and street furniture and underground network assets.

“Together with JBG SMITH, we intend to build a true smart city from the ground up that will allow future innovators to use AT&T’s network to unlock new capabilities through city-wide edge solutions that can serve specific business locations and everyday users at home or on the go,” said Mo Katibeh, head of AT&T’s Network Infrastructure and Build division. “This includes enabling immersive virtual and augmented reality, and the massive IoT connections that will become a hallmark of National Landing as the most connected city in the country.”

The partners envision the smart city as being a conduit for innovation across industries such as defense, cybersecurity, cloud/edge computing, Internet of Things, and AI. It is hoped that the creation of a smart city at this scale will encourage investors and innovators to the local area, with AT&T leveraging National Landing’s positioning within the vicinity of major business HQs, such as Amazon and Virginia Tech, as well as the Pentagon.