AT&T, America’s second largest carrier, has written that it expects to be the first American company to introduce a mobile 5G network, and by the end of 2018.
The company has announced its plans, like a few others, to roll out a 5G network. The carrier explained in its blog post that it has “taken a different approach to transforming the network,” and that AT&T’s 5G service “will be based on industry standards.” The carrier cites how it was a key part of the 3GPP international wireless standards body, which set down the first in a two-part specification in December of 2017, called the 5G new radio, or NR standards. With the 5G (NR) standards established, interested parties may now finalize hardware, firmware, chipset and software for the new technology. Given AT&T’s integral part of the 3GPP, the carrier believes it has a head start over competition.
Melissa Arnoldi, the President of AT&T Technology and Operations, explained: “We’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, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driver-less cars, immersive 4K video and more.” The company is planning to trial 5G networking technologies in business and industry, where the lower latencies together with higher data transfer rates could help “transform business operations.” One such example is how future 5G networks might allow driver-less cars to make real-time decisions based on information provided by more than the on-vehicle sensors.
AT&T’s blog also went on to explain how the carrier has not forgotten its LTE network, and how it was the first operator to launch LTE-LAA, which it will continue to deploy across the country. It has also been using a network technology the carrier calls “5G Evolution,” which is now deployed in over twenty major cities with hundreds more cities planned. The carrier has also deployed a coast-to-coast low power LTE-M network, designed for the Internet of Things spread over a large area. We’ll keep you up to date on the latest developments and progress.