We Haven’t Been Sitting Still On 5G,’ Says AT&T SVP
May 12, 2016
Not to be left behind in the race to introduce 5G by 2019, AT&T has stressed that it has begun testing a 15 GHz configuration in partnership with Ericsson and Intel, and is on course to introduce a 5G network to its customers by 2019. AT&T’s statement came in response to Verizon’s claims that it will be the first carrier to launch 5G wireless in the U.S., earlier than any other network carrier. AT&T has, however, stated that migrating to the 5G network will not be an easy task and implementing the next-generation wireless network within the timelines will be tough.
“We haven’t been sitting still on 5G. We’ve been doing a lot of work in the labs ourselves. There’s going to be a lot of labs work going on, a lot of labs testing, lots of proofs of concept. There’s going to be some level of field deployments going on as well, as everybody is learning in this space,” said Scott Mair, senior vice president of technology planning and engineering at AT&T Services. Mair was delivering a lecture at Jefferies 2016 Technology Conference in Miami where he also said that the carrier will begin testing a 28 GHz configuration as well as a fixed wireless configuration by the end of the year. According to Mair, commercial deployments of new-generation wireless networks usually begin a year after standards are issued and as per current timelines, the Phase 1 5G standards are expected to be issued by September of 2018. However, AT&T will conduct a series of trial runs in advance to test the concept and to fix shortfalls before the next-generation wireless network is officially rolled out. As of now, AT&T will prioritize mobile and fixed wireless networks before it turns its attention to the Internet of Things architecture and is set to conduct the first of its trial runs of the mobile network concept early next year.