AT&T will launch wireless 5G networks in two cities this year
Definitely, 5G is going to arrive really soon. Let’s just wait for it to be deployed correctly.
Promising 400Mbps internet speeds as well as a smarter network for these cities, AT&T has announced that its ultra-fast wireless will launch in two cities, Austin and Indianapolis, sometime later in 2017. And while it’s still the early days for 5G, the American company is confident enough to set some performance expectations. Initially, these 5G areas will deliver peak speeds of 400Mbps or much better. But there’s definite room for it to grow – through carrier aggregation and other techniques the speeds should push that to 1Gbps in some areas this year.
The launch is just part of a larger network platform upgrade, nicknamed ‘Indigo’, that promises to be more adaptable and responsive. It will put more of an emphasis on software-shaped networking (covering 75 percent of the network by 2020) and lean on technologies like machine learning. AT&T is even open-sourcing the code for its network’s orchestration platform, ECOMP.
But, don’t expect to walk into a mobile store and buy the 5G phone of your choosing once the service is ready. There is still no 5G standard, as of the moment for phones. Also, new cellular wireless technology tends to launch with very limited hardware choices. Remember how Verizon launched LTE with a handful of bulky, compromised phones, and you were more likely to use it in modems and mobile routers? Expect a repeat. Until the technology has had time to mature, it’ll be more of a showcase for the network than a meaningful upgrade.
This launch might mark the start of 5G deployment in the world, since we also reported recently that 5G may arrive in some areas on Asia later this year.