AT&T Starting 5G Field Trials This year, Speeds to Hit 5Gbps

Verizon isn't the only one doing 5G testing right now. While Verizon has already seen speeds of around 1.8Gbps on their 5G network in Basking Ridge, NJ - Verizon's headquarters - AT&T is stating that they will have field tests before the end of the year, and that they will hit 5Gbps on their 5G network. AT&T is supposedly going to be starting a 5G trial with "friendly" customers by the end of this year. AT&T's assistant VP of radio technology and architecture, Dave Wolter, did also mention that it would be "multi-gigabit", but didn't mention what those speeds might be. He was at the Big Communications Event (BCE) 2016 in Austin, Texas giving a keynote. The slides do state that they will offer "mobile broadband throughput of 5Gbps+". That's considerably faster than what we see on 4G LTE networks now, where most people see around 40-75Mbps depending on how busy the network is.

AT&T is also planning to expand their current lab testing to an outdoor test in Austin as soon as this summer. They are going to be using pre-standard equipment in 2017. Seeing as the standards for 5G hasn't been decided on, everyone will be using pre-standard equipment for now. AT&T will be doing their tests with 15GHz gear first, and then moving to 28GHz equipment later on in the year. Some of the expectations from the industry for 5G include multi-gigabit speeds, high capacity and ultra-low latency and much more. These are all great things for carriers, as they'll be able to continue adding more and more connections to their network.

While industry standards have not yet been approved for 5G yet, that hasn't stopped the US carriers from getting their feet wet with the next iteration of mobile networks. Verizon began their 5G testing back in January, with AT&T starting theirs a bit more recently. Sprint will be showcasing theirs this summer during the COPA America soccer tournament. T-Mobile has also stated that they are beginning preliminary plans for 5G, but are mostly waiting to see what the standards will be, before moving forward. We've already seen some really high speeds coming out of AT&T and Verizon, and as testing continues they are likely to get even higher.

 

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