AT&T’s forthcoming 5G wireless Internet technology is now live in Austin for demonstration and testing purposes.
The move comes as rival mobile provider Verizon appeared to be taking the lead on 5G development, which could bring data transfer speeds between 10 to 300 times faster than 4G technology. AT&T pledged their 5G tech will not just be comparable to Verizon — they aim to exceed their biggest competitor in every way.
“The future of video is mobile. And the future of mobile is video,” Tom Keathley, senior vice president of wireless network architecture and design at AT&T, explained in a blog post. “Mobile video streaming continues to be a vital aspect of our 5G work, and this trial gives us an opportunity to test 4K HD video streaming across further physical distances between pieces of equipment. With our 5G and 4G LTE advancements, we expect speeds rivaling what we see from cable providers. Our path to 5G will help make this vision a reality faster.”
So, just how fast is 5G? Right now it’s hard to say for sure, since the standard has not yet been established by the industry.
However, demos of Verizon’s 5G Internet tech exceeded 3.77 gigabits per second (gbps) in February, which is more than three times faster than Google Fiber’s top-tier package. Not to be outdone, AT&T demonstrated their 5G technology at the Texas Wireless Summit recently, where it exceeded 14 gbps.
Here in Austin, AT&T plans to use its demo hardware to test Internet access, virtual private networks, unified communications applications, and 4K video streams. Once it gets rolled out for customers at large — likely by 2020, but possibly sooner — expect 5G Internet applications to encompass virtual reality, Internet-connected city infrastructure, driverless cars, and much more.
(H/t: Digital Trends)