AT&T Wireless

AT&T has announced that it is all set to join the 5G race with trials likely to commence towards the second half of 2016. This can be seen to be in response to Verizon’s claims made in September last year that it is bracing up to offer 5G speeds when the service is eventually initiated.

AT&T further stated they have teamed up with Intel and Ericsson to be 5G ready with trials set to be initiated in Austin, Texas. The carrier, however, is yet to commit to any relative figures as to how fast we can expect its 5G network to be over 4G. Verizon had earlier stated it is expecting speeds at least 50 times faster than what its 4G network is capable of.

All the efforts notwithstanding, the technicalities of the next wireless standard are yet to be specified, and it’s not likely to happen in the next few years either. Telecom operators though have started the ground work at least so as to hit the ground running when the service comes into operations.

Similar efforts are also underway elsewhere in the world with South Korea believed to have already made commendable progress in this field. The country has set itself an ambitious target of having a robust 5G network in place by 2018 when it hosts the Winter Olympic Games.

Telecom operators in China and Europe too are said to be working to be 5G-ready when the wireless communication standard comes into effect.
However, that is just one side of the story as hardware manufacturers too are required to be in the loop to make the most of the 5G network.

The next generation of wireless standard is already tipped to feature prominently at the 2016 edition of Mobile World Congress if not dominate things already. The tablet and smartphones need to have compatible chips in place to log onto 5G networks of future.

However, the scope of connected devices is all set to explode once Internet of Things is taken into account when even household equipment such as bulbs or locks will come with built-in chips.

Also, contrary to popular belief that 5G will be all about high-speed data transfer rates, experts are quick to point out the next gen wireless communication standard will also be about reliability and security while keeping the cost low.

In any case, it’s not likely for 5G networks to be a mass reality before 2020.


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