If the latest reports are correct, lightning speed wireless connectivity could be knocking on U.S. doors soon, as AT&T is set to begin 5G testing in Austin this year.
AT&T just announced today its first round of 5G wireless technology testing, which will begin this summer in Austin. This technology is expected to be completed by 2020, bringing with it wireless speeds that are 100 times faster than its predecessor. 4G LTE usually offers around 10-20 Mbps for downloading data.
Speaking on this issue, John Donovan, who is chief strategy officer at AT&T, explained that many advanced technologies, such as robots, self-driving cars and smart cities will be using networks to a greater capacity, which means that 5G will help their clients develop groundbreaking results much faster.
According to the company’s estimations, their wireless network increased 150,000% in the period 2007-2015, mainly due to video traffic.
In order to properly test the 5G technology, AT&T has partnered with Ericsson and Intel, which helped them conduct laboratory assessments, while the outdoor trials will begin this summer.
The company is hopeful that by the end of the year they will be able to install this connection in a number of fixed locations, like homes and buildings, but when it comes to moving cars or trains, that will be much more difficult to achieve.
AT&T specialists say that their technology will make use of a software-centric architecture, which will be able to adapt quickly to new requirements. This will be supplied in connection with SDNs (software defined networks), which will virtualize 75% of AT&T’s network by 2020.
This will not only make their processes safer and smoother, but it will also help the company save money. Last year only 6% of their networks were virtualized, but this figure is expected to increase in 2017, reaching 30%.
Verizon is already a step ahead of AT&T, having begun their ambitious 5G testing in 2017, promising to deliver the first outdoor trials this year. Verizon’s predictions about their 5G performances are a bit on the safe side, however. While AT&T is promising customers speeds of up to 100 times faster than the normal ones, Verizon is only estimating theirs to be 30-50 times faster.
Even though carriers everywhere are busy finding the next high-speed technology for their clients, there is still no international agreement on 5G standards.
This means that whatever technology ends up being used, it will have to pass through 3GPP, which is the international group that has to approve all telecommunications network technologies being offered on the market.
Image Source: TheVerge