AT&T just announced that they plans to launch its first ‘5G Evolution Markets’ this year, which will enable customers in Indianapolis and Austin to experience and enjoy ultra-fast wireless connectivity from their smartphones.
According to the At&T, it is ready to start rolling out a 5G wireless service in Austin and Indianapolis, but it will not be the full 5G experience at starting. These two cities are the first of these ‘5G Evolution Markets’ both set to come online ‘in the coming months,’ but that is not the extent of AT&T’s 5G ambitions this year.
The carrier’s 5G networks will start at ‘theoretical peak speeds’ of 400 MBps, which is notably quicker than what you would normally get on 4G networks. But AT&T’s ultimate goal is to bring those speeds up to 1 GBps by the end of the year, which could make your mobile’s wireless service rival the high-speed internet you might have at home.
This rollout of 5G Wireless Service is part of a larger network platform upgrade, aptly named Indigo, that ensure to be more responsive and adaptable. It will put more of an emphasis on software-shaped networking (covering 75 % of the network by the end of 2020) and lean on technologies like machine learning. The company is even open-sourcing the code for its network’s orchestration platform, ECOMP.
According to AT&T, 5G is not just about being able to load web pages instantly or download full movies to your phone in seconds. The company’s press release notes that the ‘massive bandwidth and low latency’ of 5G will help to power VR and augmented reality experiences on phones, and strengthen the capabilities of self-driving cars.
In addition to its limited consumer rollout, the company will continue to run its 5G tests at labs in Austin. These trials will include measure how well the service works both indoors as well as outdoors, and how capable it is of streaming AT&T’s DirecTV Now service at high quality.