February 20th, AT&T wireless revealed which cities would be the first to receive it’s all new 5G service. Although the company plans on unleashing its 5G power on a dozen cities through-out the rest of 2018, Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas and Waco, Texas will be the first ones to get their hands on the all new service.
The new service will of course offer a higher speed than previous models, but the biggest upgrade for many people will be the considerable decrease in latency that with will be seen with 5G: ping times that are impossible with 4G and 3G services.
Several of AT&Ts competitors have been working on their own infrastructure for a future upgrade in services, but AT&T will be the first mobile carrier to roll out new services. Further cities to receive the 5G upgrade will be announced at later dates.
AT&T have beaten their competitors to market with technology based on 3GPP standards and transmit over the mmWave spectrum. After completing their goal of virtualizing 55% of their network in 2017, the company plans to crank that number up to 75% by the end of 2020.
In their press release, AT&T said that to accommodate the required deadlines they will be opening a new lab in Austin, Texas. The location will be used to conduct tests to keep them ahead of competitors in the 5G market.
Verizon is working just as endlessly to provide higher mobile speeds to its customers as well. If you are a Verizon customer, you don’t have to be so eager to switch to AT&T. Verizon plans to launch their 5g technology to five markets in 2018 and expand to other markets sometime in the future.
Verizon chose to demonstrate their 5G technology by putting two professional NBA players in a virtual reality headset. The 5G signal has such low latency that the players were able to make free throws completely blind to the real world. Inside the Verizon 5G headset a video streaming in real time provided all the vision they needed to sink the shots: this demonstrates what is capable with faster speeds and the lower ping of 5G.
After eight years of 4G wireless networks, it looks 5G will finally be a reality. On Tuesday, AT&T broadcast the names of the first cities officially receiving a 5G network. The Dallas-based carrier is not the only company testing 5G, Verizon also stated its intention to unveil a 5G network last year. At present both carriers are at the forefront of the update, but the only information available is speculation. According to many sources, 5G will be faster than wired internet connections but that remains to be seen. At the unveil AT&T listed Waco, Dallas, and Atlanta among the twelve initially receiving the new network. So far now it is just a waiting game.
AT&T is very adamant about the quality of the network, stating that its base is a 3GPP standard operating on a millimeter wave. (https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/21/att-names-atlanta-dallas-and-waco-first-of-12-us-cities-to-get-5g-wireless/) Peak speeds theorized to be in gigabits, with minimal dormancy. According to Igal Elbaz, SVP of Architecture and Design, the update will completely alter the network and meet the standards set down for 5G. It is also speculated that AT&T will be the first carrier to provide such service. This will be fantastic, if there is a noticeable difference.
In a world where technological innovation moves faster than a consumer can purchase it, every year sees the introduction of newer models. I-phones are up to double digits now, and Samsung is right behind them with the 8th version of their galaxy series. Every version touted as optimizing various facets. Better video, better streaming, wider screen, higher pixilation on the front camera, higher pixilation on the back camera, and better processors. It all sounds good but the phones as fancy as they are still perform the same tasks older models do. For most consumers there is no noticeable difference between the two. This begs the question do we need it. So do we need a 5G network? Will it really be significantly better than 4G LTE? According to speculation we do. Some even go as far as to say it will replace the need for cables!
For now, there is nothing but hope. Hope that the network will really change things, take technology forward. Reach new heights that better life. After all, this is the purpose of innovation.