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AT&T: Our 5G Network Will Be 100 Times Quicker than LTE

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Feb 12, 2016, 8:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today revealed its plans to test and eventually deploy 5G wireless technology, which it says will offer performance 10 to 100 times faster than today's LTE. AT&T is working with Ericsson and Intel to test 5G in its labs during the second quarter of the year, with field tests to follow over the summer months. AT&T and its partners hope to offer some level of 5G service to "fixed locations" in Austin before 2016 comes to a close. They will use technologies including millimeter waves, network function virtualization (NFV), and software-defined networking (SDN) to guide their path. AT&T claims 5G will deliver speeds measured in gigabits per second, not megabits, and latency will drop to 1 to 5 milliseconds. AT&T says 5G will be ideal for bandwidth-hungry applications, as it will support multiple radio interfaces and make better use of spectrum via SDN and NFV. The International Telecommunications Union and 3GPP have not defined what 5G will actually be, and AT&T said it expects the trials will help guide its recommendations to the ITU and set what may become part of the standard. The standards bodies aren't expected to complete the basic spec for 5G until 2018, with the standard reaching final form in 2020. AT&T believes its work on 5G now will allow it to deploy 5G in large scale when the technology is ready. In the mean time, AT&T will continue to evolve its LTE 4G network to meet the growing demands of customers.


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