Verizon teased last year that it plans to begin 5G field tests in 2016, and now AT&T has said that it’s got a similar plan.
AT&T has revealed that it plans to begin 5G field tests in Austin, Texas, before the end of 2016. Before the testing begins, it will work with Ericsson and Intel on 5G tech in AT&T labs, followed by outdoor testing during the summer. All of this testing will help AT&T prepare for a 5G rollout once the standards for the technology are set.
So what can you expect from 5G? AT&T says that 5G will deliver speeds between 10 and 100 times faster than the average 4G LTE speeds that we’re getting today. At the top end, that means that speeds could be measured in gigabits per second (Gbps) rather than megabits per second (Mbps). 5G will also offer lower latency — in the range of 1 to 5 milliseconds — which, for example, means that the time between you pressing “Play” on a video and the video actually starting to stream will be shortened.
Wireless technologies are always improving, and so it’s a matter of when, not if, we’ll see 5G technology rolled out to consumers. And while it’ll likely be at least a couple of years before we see any kind of widespread 5G availability, the crazy fast speeds and low latency that we’re expected to get with 5G will make the wait worth it.