On Friday, AT&T unveiled its roadmap to 5G, including its plan to start field tests later this year.
"Technologies such as millimeter waves, network function virtualization (NFV), and software-defined networking (SDN) will be among the key ingredients for future 5G experiences. AT&T Labs has been working on these technologies for years and has filed dozens of patents connected with them," said AT&T in its announcement on the 5G roadmap. "We plan to collaborate with Ericsson and Intel to work on 5G solutions in our labs starting in the second quarter of this year, with outdoor tests and trials over the summer." By the end of the year, AT&T said that it expects to provide wireless connectivity to fixed locations in Austin. "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," said the company. The new 5G service is expected to deliver speeds 10-100 times faster than 4G LTE connections and reduce latency to between 1 and 5 milliseconds.
"New experiences like virtual reality, self-driving cars, robotics, smart cities and more are about to test networks like never before," said John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer and Group President, AT&T Technology and Operations, in a statement on the matter. "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."
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