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AT&T unveils 5G roadmap

US telco AT&T is unveiling its 5G roadmap to bring its customers the next-generation of super-fast, flexible wireless connectivity.

Technologies such as millimetre waves, network function virtualisation (NFV), and software-defined networking (SDN) will be among the key ingredients for future 5G experiences. AT&T Labs has been working on these technologies for years and has filed dozens of patents connected with them.

In a statement the company said: “We plan to collaborate with Ericsson and Intel to work on 5G solutions in our labs starting in the second quarter of this year, with outdoor tests and trials over the summer. And, we expect field trials of 5G technologies to provide wireless connectivity to fixed locations in Austin before the end of this year. The trials will help guide our 5G standards contributions, and set the stage for widespread commercial and mobile availability once technology standards for 5G are established. “
“We expect 5G to deliver speeds 10-100 times faster than today’s average 4G LTE connections. Customers will see speeds measured in gigabits per second, not megabits. For reference, at one gigabit per second, you can download a TV show in less than 3 seconds. Customers will also see much lower latency with 5G. Latency, for example, is how long it takes after you press play on a video app for the video to start streaming on your device. We expect 5G latency in the range of 1 to 5 milliseconds. “

“New experiences like virtual reality, self-driving cars, robotics, smart cities and more are about to test networks like never before,” said John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer and Group President, AT&T Technology and Operations. “These technologies will be immersive, pervasive and responsive to customers. 5G will help make them a reality. 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. Our approach is simple – deliver a unified experience built with 5G, software-defined networking (SDN), Big Data, security and open source software.”

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