Recently, the best internet provider AT&T® announced that it plans to roll out the 5G service in a dozen cities by 2018 and named seven cities the company plans to connect to the 5G network early 2019. The Dallas-based carrier is rolling out the required equipment to support the fresh wireless standard across the US. However, the fastest internet provider plans to allow the market to guide where and when it turns on 5G, said AT&T® Labs President cum Chief Technology Officer, Andre Fuetsch.
“Over time we’ll just have see how much [5G] device penetration happens over time,” Fuetsch said. “That will determine, really, the pace of how 5G gets built.” He also added that it is compliant with the wireless standards body 3GPP’s specification. That means phones on the 5G network of the company will be able to switch over to 4G radios seamlessly when required, and the Telco will not have to upgrade equipment or subscribers’ phones to make them compatible with the wireless standard.
With the correct radios, 5G promises superfast speeds. Unlike with those previous technologies, the throughput subscribers will receive with 5G could either match or better those of residential internet connections. In some cases, subs could see 1 Gbps speeds or more, which is around what fiber optic internet broadband services like Verizon Fios® offer.
The CTO of AT&T® Labs is helping guide the 5G effort of the fastest internet provider. However, the actual 5G speeds customers get could differ from one place to the other. That is because to deliver the quickest service, telecommunication companies will have to use radio towers that can transmit data at mmWave frequency bands in the rage of 24 GHz and more.
Signals sent in the said bands do not go through walls or do not tend to travel extremely far. Therefore, to cover the exact area that low-frequency bands were able to, they will have to use more radio towers. This will make deployment pricier.
Carriers can make use of lower-frequency bands in order to deliver the 5G service, but only at a moderately quicker speed than what 4G can deliver, said Fuetsch. He also said that top speeds might reach about 1 Gbps, but average speeds will probably be in the hundreds Mbps. Besides quicker speeds, 5G promises lower latency.
“If you’re in one of our millimeter-wave zones … you can expect gigabit-plus speeds. Not just peak speeds but average speeds,” AT&T® Labs CTO said. “In other areas, you certainly will get some speed advantages, you will also get reduced latency, but you won’t get as much speed as you would with a millimeter wave connection.”