5G could replace traditional broadband service in some areas.
AT&T has announced its plans to offer Fifth Generation (5G) wireless technology in the near future, joining Verizon in beginning field trials by the end of this year, according to an article on cnet.com.
The company said it plans to start development work in partnership with Ericsson and Intel in the second quarter of 2016, and announced a plan to begin field trials in Austin, TX, later in the year.
The announcement adds excitement about the coming of 5G, which experts say will deliver speeds of 10-100 times faster than today’s 4G connections and promises to revolutionize the wireless industry in many ways. The technology is also designed to be more power efficient, and may be able to run a connected sensor for up to 10 years on a single battery.
AT&T says they have been working on many of the key ingredients necessary to upgrade for quite some time, and that may give them an advantage over their rivals during the developmental stages of the process.
John Donovan, chief strategy officer of AT&T, said in a statement new wireless experiences are going to test the current networks like never before, and 5G will help make those experiences, such as robotics, virtual-reality, and smart cities a reality. It could mean that 5G may be fast enough and inexpensive enough to replace the current model of home broadband service, and the company plans to test this technology with a limited number of customers in the near future.
AT&T, the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier, says this could be a boon to rural America, serving those without cable service with high-speed internet options, and offering an alternative to fixed internet services in other areas.
The increased capacity of 5G will make it possible to stream multiple HD video feeds to large-screen TV’s and devices within your home as well as allowing for virtual-reality or games being sent directly to your headsets. The technology promises to have major breakthroughs in fields like medicine, where doctors could use real-time streaming to examine patients away from the hospital setting and possibly even lead to using remote robotics for surgery.
Although most industry experts say 5G won’t become widely available until 2020, that doesn’t stop the carriers from laying the groundwork.