5G wireless service is one step closer to reality. AT&T said in a recent press release that it expects to introduce mobile 5G service in a dozen US markets by late 2018.

We're talking true 5G service here - in accordance with the 3GPP's 5G new radio (NR) standards that were finalized last month - not the impostor "5G Evolution" network it announced last year.

Melissa Arnoldi, president of AT&T Technology and Operations, said they're moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, Arnoldi added, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more.

AT&T said it also plans to trial 5G technology with businesses of all sizes across multiple industries, not just mobile consumers. Unfortunately, AT&T stopped short of naming which cities it will target first, when exactly they'll receive 5G service, how fast the speeds will be or which devices its service will be compatible with.

With the announcement, AT&T becomes the last of the four major carriers to detail their 5G rollout plans. While some expect to get up and running in 2018, others won't see their 5G rollout take shape until sometime in 2019 and nationwide coverage likely won't be realized until 2020 at the earliest. That gives hardware makers plenty of time to equip flagship devices with the modems necessary to take advantage of the speedy new technology.

Photo courtesy Josep Lago, Getty Images