In the grand scheme of things, 4G LTE is still relatively young, but in the world of consumer electronics, which moves very quickly, it is time we start looking towards the future. AT&T announced a basic roadmap for 5G deployment this morning, detailing that AT&T Labs has been working on the technology for years, filing many patents associated with it. According to AT&T, when all is said and done, field testing for 5G will likely begin in Austin, TX before the end of 2016.
Before field testing can begin, AT&T will start collaborating with Intel and Ericsson on 5G solutions in Q2 of this year. Following that, outdoor tests and trials will commence this summer. The trials to take place will guide AT&T’s standards contributions, then, “set the stage for widespread commercial and mobile availability once technology standards for 5G are established.”
Using the power of imagination, go back to a time when 4G LTE was first launched. Once the flip was switched on, we were downloading apps, music, and TV shows exceptionally fast. It was a joyous time. With 5G technology, we will experience that sense of joy all over again. According to AT&T, the company expects to deliver speeds 10 to 100 times faster than today’s average 4G LTE speed. Instead of speeds being measured in megabits, we will measure them in gigabits. Claimed by AT&T, at one gigabit a second, a customer could download an entire TV show in less than 3 seconds.
Last year, Verizon announced that it too was entering filed testing for 5G this year. For consumers, who don’t exactly need to care about how this technology is rolled out, all we know is that we want it and we want it now.
It looks like 2017 might be a good year for smartphones, if all goes well.