AT&T to start testing a 5G network, up to 100 times faster than current LTE speeds
Not to be outdone by Verizon, AT&T just announced that it will also start preparing its network for the next, 5G wireless data standard, whenever its final characteristics are ironed out. For the moment, AT&T says it will strive to provide fiber-like data download speeds, which most likely means up to 1 Gbps, just as with Verizon's current undertaking.
America's second-biggest carrier will start testing a virtual 5G network in its Austin, Texas labs by the summer, cooperating with Ericsson and Intel for the equipment. It will gradually roll out the speedy wireless broadband as a point-to-point delivery for homes and businesses afterwards, using a high-frequency millimeter band radio spectrum. Verizon already has such a network operational at its Basking Ridge, NJ headquarters, and AT&T won't be far behind, it seems.
What will the new 1 Gbps networks of Verizon and AT&T serve for? Well, video, of course, those 4K Netflix sessions won't stream themselves. Both AT&T, and Verizon before it, mention in their press releases about the "5G" rollout that it is mainly done because of rising demand for video streaming, which now occupies the vast majority of total data consumption on their networks.
Not only that, but according to John Donovan, chief strategy officer of AT&T: "New experiences like virtual reality, self-driving cars, robotics, smart cities and more are about to test networks like never before. 5G will help make them a reality." Hear, hear. For a quick primer on the other goodies that 5G will bring further down the road, besides the speed increase, check out this infographic below.