Wireless carrier AT&T confirmed the launch of 5G technology on its network in Puerto Rico, where it is already covering 58 towns, company executives said.
Customers will have access to the faster service in San Juan, Aguadilla, Aibonito, Arecibo, Mayagüez, Ponce and Rincón. Another 18 towns will go live this week, while Vieques and Culebra should be on the faster network before year’s end, AT&T Puerto Rico General Manager Jose Juan Dávila confirmed.
The company did not disclose the local investment required to deploy the next-generation technology. Puerto Rico was included in the nationwide launch announced Monday.
However, Dávila said the development is in line with the carrier’s “business as usual” schedule in place while the sale of AT&T’s Puerto Rico unit to Liberty de Puerto Rico materializes.
“This fits well into that because since the transaction was announced, Liberty’s commitment has been to maintain excellence in the AT&T network. We have the fastest wireless network, they have the fastest wireline network, which complement each other well,” he said.
In October 2019, Liberty Latin America — Liberty de Puerto Rico’s parent — announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AT&T Inc.’s wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.95 billion, as this media outlet reported.
The transaction is expected to close later this year, after getting customary approvals. The value of the acquisition will not be altered by AT&T’s network upgrade.
Dávila said, “we continue with our plans, which included launching 5G in 2020. We continue operating separately until the transaction closes.”
To be able to ramp up to 5G service, customers need technology-ready devices. Dávila confirmed AT&T will have seven phones and a hotspot for commercial clients already available.