AT&T announced plans to roll out 5G mobile internet to consumers in a dozen US cities this year, including areas of Atlanta, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, the company announced Wednesday.
The early mobile 5G deployments will be based on the newly accepted industry standard for 5G technology, which was affirmed in December by 3GPP, the international wireless standards body.
To make this plan a reality, AT&T is opening a new 5G lab in Austin, where it will test the technology. In this new lab, AT&T engineers will “build and test creative solutions and run ‘stress tests’ – simulating real-world customer experiences – with mobile 5G network equipment and devices from multiple vendors before they are rolled out to customers,” AT&T wrote.
AT&T hopes that 5G will reach peak speeds of multiple gigabits per second on devices utilizing the technology, while also creating much lower latency rates, unlocking a new world of mobile connectivity that will enhance advanced applications such as cloud technologies.
Several carriers have been trialing 5G networks for some time. AT&T says this rollout will be based on the 3GPP standard and will operate on the millimeter wave, or mmWave, spectrum. 5G wireless is said to offer theoretical peak speeds of several gigabits a second at lower latency than existing 4G wireless networks. The combination of faster speeds and lower latency is thought to help speed adoption of Internet of Things devices and utilities that require a persistent internet connection.
AT&T aims to be the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer 5G widely. The company announced in January that it would roll out the wireless network to a dozen markets and start selling a mobile device for the next-generation network by the end of 2018.