IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Business
News
2/13/2016
11:05 AM
50%
50%

AT&T Plans 5G Technology Tests Later This Year

AT&T is planning to test super speedy 5G technologies by the end of the year in homes and offices in Austin. The 5G testing comes at a time when data-hogging video that can slow networks down accounts for more than half of the data traffic on AT&T's networks.

8 Must-Have Mobile Tools For Road Warriors
8 Must-Have Mobile Tools For Road Warriors
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

AT&T plans to test super-fast 5G technologies this year, the company announced Friday, Feb. 12. The move occurs as data-hogging video that can slow down its networks accounts for more than 60% of its data traffic.

AT&T will collaborate with Intel and Ericsson to develop 5G solutions beginning in the second quarter, and expects to begin testing 5G in homes and offices in Austin by the end of the year. The telecom behemoth anticipates 5G to deliver speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than existing 4G LTE connections. For example, a TV show will take less than three seconds to download.

However, video is not the only data-hog that AT&T is eyeing.

"New experiences like virtual reality, self-driving cars, robotics, smart cities and more are about to test networks like never before," said John Donovan, AT&T's chief strategy officer and group president of AT&T Technology and Operations, in a statement.

(Image: RiverNorthPhotography/iStockphoto)

(Image: RiverNorthPhotography/iStockphoto)

4K video, virtual reality, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are bandwidth-hungry applications, but 5G could resolve some of these issues because it aims to support multiple radio interfaces and allow for more spectrum efficiency, as well as take advantage of SDN and network function virtualization.

"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," Donovan said.

AT&T is banking on its 5G tests to provide guidance on what contributions it will make to the 5G standards bodies. 3GPP, an international standards body, is expected to wrap up the first phase of its 5G process in 2018. Verizon, which plans to start its 5G trials this year, expects that 5G will be introduced in the US by 2020.

[Read about AT&T and WiFi calling on the iPhone.]

When the Mobile World Congress is held later this month, the topic of 5G standards is expected to once again grab much of the attention. During last year's conference, there seemed to be some common themes to emerge on how 5G should look.

  • 5G will be much faster, offering connection speeds up to 10 Gbps.
  • Latency will be reduced to 1ms, 500 times faster than current LTE technologies.
  • 5G has to be green and offer a sustainable infrastructure embedded into its DNA.
  • 5G has to be flexible, which will enable different wireless technologies to coexist and share resources.
  • It needs to be secure, offering seamless and uninterrupted connectivity.

In the meantime, AT&T said it plans to continue to evolve its 4G network.

Does your company offer the most rewarding place to work in IT? Do you know of an organization that stands out from the pack when it comes to how IT workers are treated? Make your voice heard. Submit your entry now for InformationWeek's People's Choice Award. Full details and a submission form can be found here.

Dawn Kawamoto is a freelance writer and editor. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's News.com, TheStreet.com, AOL's DailyFinance, and The ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
kstaron
50%
50%
kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2016 | 5:10:56 PM
Re: Lame
Green means that they won't be polluting so much that the world's sea level will rise faster than people can adopt 5G technology, and sustainable means they can use wind and solar and still charge people as though they were paying people to bring it out of a mine and port it from West Virginia.

Seriously though, climate change and pollution are factors that cut into the bottom line of a company, either by having to deal with rising water, global climate issue, enviromental disasters, or the fact that their customers have to pay more in flood insurance or medical bills due to environmental factors and can't pay them for a product. This isn't worshipping at the altar of Al Gore. It's recognizing that green and sustainable is better for the bottom line.
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/16/2016 | 4:47:18 AM
Re: Lame
Also a big problem would be transmitting the power from the storage stations. How much of that stored power will deteriorate over distance? How long can you store the energy? But also neither method is efficient yet in generating large amounts of energy for their sizes.
Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 6:04:28 PM
Re: Lame
The really neat thing about solar and wind is that you can build the plants out in the middle of nowhere and once they're built, the cost of fuel is - nothing. The big problem isn't generating power, but storing it. The wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine, and the same lithium-ion batteries that imperfectly power our mobile devices and inadequately power electric vehicles have also not lived up to the task of storing large amounts of power.
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 4:41:48 PM
Re: Lame
So far solar and wind have not lived up to expectations. It is a good start but there certainly must be better ways of generating energy. FiOS has rolled out 5G wifi. My home network has it. There is a difference but the signal is not as wide as with 4G, but it is noticably faster.
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 4:38:31 PM
Re: Lame
Totally agree. Algore and his lot love to use slogans in their "climate change" campaign. Too bad they all use private jets and gigantic limos to get to their events.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 5:21:27 AM
Re: Lame
I agree to your take on the meaning of "green and sustainable" in the content of 5G. The power should be produced by the infrastructure for the infrastructure -- similar, to the Gigafactory. And, standards should be implemented that decrease the power consumption levels at the device/user end as well.

In many parts of the world, "green and sustainable" will be the only possible solution because the electricity grid is not stable.
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
2/14/2016 | 9:23:57 PM
Re: Lame
This is good point - despite the speed and benefit, will be a sustainable technology? Is it realistic to deploy it widely without high cost? This is the important trade-off that needs to be made.
Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
2/13/2016 | 2:39:16 PM
Re: Lame
I agree, and what does "green and sustainable" mean in this context, anyway? No matter how you slice it, this is going to use A LOT of electricity. Perhaps require the carriers to build their own solar power plants, backed up by natural gas for when the sun doesn't shine? One thing inherently "green" about this is that when people are playing on 5G, they are not going to be simultaneously driving their car, at least some of the time, anyway.
mattt1986
100%
0%
mattt1986,
User Rank: Strategist
2/13/2016 | 12:51:33 PM
Lame
Has to be green and sustainable? What the heck does that even mean? It's 2016... time to stop prostrating ourselves at the altar of Algore.
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.