AT&T to Test 5G Wireless Service in Austin

attAT&T, the nation’s second largest wireless network, announced last week it plans to test super fast wireless connectivity in Austin.

While many carriers just rolled out 4G service, AT&T is working with Ericsson and Intel on 5G solutions. It’s going to do outdoor tests and trials this summer.

“And, we expect field trials of 5G technologies to provide wireless connectivity to fixed locations in Austin before the end of this year,” according to a news release. “The trials will help guide our 5G standards contributions, and set the stage for widespread commercial and mobile availability once technology standards for 5G are established.”

The 5G speeds are expected to “deliver speeds 10-100 times faster than today’s average 4G LTE connections,” according to AT&T. “Customers will see speeds measured in gigabits per second, not megabits. For reference, at one gigabit per second, you can download a TV show in less than 3 seconds. Customers will also see much lower latency with 5G. Latency, for example, is how long it takes after you press play on a video app for the video to start streaming on your device. We expect 5G latency in the range of 1 to 5 milliseconds.”

“New experiences like virtual reality, self-driving cars, robotics, smart cities and more are about to test networks like never before,” John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer and Group President, AT&T Technology and Operations, said in a news release. “These technologies will be immersive, pervasive and responsive to customers. 5G will help make them a reality. 5G will reach its full potential because we will build it on a software-centric architecture that can adapt quickly to new demands and give customers more control of their network services. Our approach is simple – deliver a unified experience built with 5G, software-defined networking (SDN), Big Data, security and open source software.”

More than 60 percent of the data traffic on AT&T’s total network was video in 2015.

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