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article imageAT&T commits to launching 5G mobile network during 2018

By James Walker     Jan 4, 2018 in Technology
AT&T has announced it will launch its first 5G mobile network in the U.S. before the end of the year. The company said it has set itself an "ambitious milestone" to offer standards-compliant 5G and will usher in a new era of mobile connectivity.
Standards for faster connectivity
In a news post today, AT&T said its work during 2017 to develop 5G standards has enabled it to accelerate its deployment plans. The company will be following 5G radio certifications awarded by 3GPP, the international wireless standards body. 3GPP has now completed its development of 5G specifications to be followed by modem manufacturers, device vendors and network providers.
AT&T plans to bring 5G mobile networks to a dozen regions during 2018, making it the first U.S. carrier to offer the next-generation service. The gradual rollout will be expanded in 2019 to additional cities and areas as more 5G infrastructure is deployed. Customers will need to purchase a new mobile device to experience the full benefits of 5G.
5G offers much more bandwidth and faster speeds than 4G LTE. The technology also has much lower latency, a characteristic that makes it better suited to new connected "things." Autonomous vehicles and smart sensors need to be able to communicate in real-time, making the rollout of dependable low-latency networks a prerequisite for their development. The 5G era will allow tech companies to build new autonomous solutions.
For businesses too
While AT&T has committed to launching 5G this year, the company hasn't yet provided any speed details for its debut network. Theoretically, 5G can scale well into the Gbps range, with researchers previously observing a world record 1Tbps transfer rate. Real-world performance on the first mobile networks will be substantially slower but AT&T said it will still "change the way we live."
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"5G will change the way we live, work and enjoy entertainment," said Melissa Arnoldi, president of AT&T Technology and Operations. "We're moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low-latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more."
AT&T will also be trialling 5G technology with businesses during 2018. The company said it will work with firms "of all sizes" and in various industries to help them digitally transform using modern networks. 5G may have been a long time in development but it's almost ready to start speeding up smartphone apps and business services.
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