5G is the next evolution of wireless networks, and Verizon has already begun testing it at their headquarters in New Jersey and is planning to roll out 5G in select markets by the end of the year. Hoping to be first to roll out 5G in the US. Now AT&T doesn't want Verizon to get too far ahead of them. Evidently, AT&T is going to begin testing 5G in the next quarter, working with Intel and Ericsson, and the carrier is promising that it'll be around 100 times faster than their current LTE network. 5G speeds are actually defined as up to 20Gbps which is a whole lot faster than the 150Mbps LTE has, theoretically.
AT&T is hoping that they will be able to use the results from these trials to develop 5G standards along with the ITU. Also to help set the stage for more widespread commercial deployments. Right now 4G LTE isn't even available everywhere in the world, but it is available in most countries. Meanwhile the US has one of the lowest average for LTE speeds in the world. Which is quite sad seeing as the US was one of the first to adopt 4G LTE with MetroPCS and then Verizon.
Right now, AT&T is the second largest carrier in the country behind Verizon. AT&T has also been spending quite a bit of cash as of late, as well as adding all sorts of new products that will work better on 5G, including the Internet of Things and even connected cars. As there will be more bandwidth, setting the stage for more devices to be connected, without others suffering slower speeds. Which is a pretty major problem right now with 4G LTE. With more and more people using LTE, we're seeing slower speeds, seeing as there's not enough bandwidth in many areas for these carriers to use.
Verizon and AT&T are starting trials for 5G this year, it'll be interesting to see who rolls it out commercially first, and to what markets first. T-Mobile and Sprint have yet to announce any plans regarding 5G just yet. But they likely won't be far behind.