January 17, 2017
AT&T, Inc. has been lab testing 5G wireless technology and has attained speeds of nearly 14GB a second and will test the speed by putting it into its DirecTV Now video services for homes in the Austin, Texas area before mid-year.
According to AT&T Chief Strategy Officer John Donovan, the company, along with Ericsson AB, Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc., was able to develop a 5G network, which plans on using experimental airwaves to test the 5G residential and business services. Donovan said it's likely to be a less expensive method than the fiber-optic cable that's used for high-capacity connections.
AT&T, trying to keep up the pace that Verizon Communications, Inc. has implemented, is trying to come up with new 5G services that will lead to revenue in the budding field as its TV and wireless subscription business is facing stiff competition.
Donovan has been with AT&T through its upgrades in the last nine years - from 2G to 4G and now 5G, which is likely to make a huge impact on various products such as virtual reality, live maps and driverless cars.
He said 5G is the biggest thing he's been involved with so far his career, as it opens new worlds.
Service providers, chip manufacturers and networking gear makers have been competing for the big roles in 5G technology. 5G is all about offering quicker response times along with a high capacity, unlike the previous wireless technology generations.
Donovan said he believes AT&T will be the first commercial company to offer 5G service in 2018, and the mobile 5G service will be available commercially in 2019.