AT&T is making waves today, they currently have a nationwide 4G LTE network. But today, the wireless carrier is looking towards the future. AT&T has just announced that they will begin 5G testing in 2016 and have unveiled a roadmap for the new technology. 5G is set to deliver speeds that are 10-100 times faster than 4G LTE, which already delivers some very fast speeds.
It is important to note that AT&T, is not the first to announced testing of 5G, similarly Verizon has also announced they are working towards 5G. No word from Sprint or T-Mobile on when they will begin 5G just yet, it seems they are still working on 4G and making sure those networks work.
AT&T notes that there lab division has been working on Technologies like millimeter waves, network function virtualization (NFV), and software-defined networking for many years. And this is the tech needed for a 5G network. They plan to pair up with Intel and Ericsson for lab testing over the next few months and over the summer they will move to outdoor testing.
It is likely that before coming to mobile devices, 5G will enter broadband in both commercial and residential markets. In terms of the network itself, AT&T is setting expectations high. With speeds around 10-100 times faster than today’s average 4G LTE connections, this means you can download a full TV show in less than 3 seconds. In terms of latency, the time it takes to load something or start streaming a video, it will be almost nonexistent.