RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – All the hype surrounding next-generation 5G wireless capabilities may be fact after all.

In a blog post Tuesday, Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology & Operations, disclosed some of the test results from ongoing trials of forthcoming 5G, and the speed, the ability to penetrate obstacles, the lack of latency, and more are indeed quite impressive.

5G is seen as the broadband technology that can make the Internet of Things truly ubiquitous for businesses from data center to office (as explained by the graphic from Intel included with this post) as well as greatly enhance the speed (also reliability) at which we stream, text and read via the ever-growing web of mobile devices.

Here are the results as published by Arnoldi:

Waco, Texas

Participants: Small and mid-sized businesses

  • Provided 5G mmWave service to a retail location more than 150 meters away from the cell site and observed wireless speeds of approximately 1.2 Gbps in a 400 MHz channel.
  • Observed latency rates at 9-12 milliseconds.
    • Latency impacts things like the time between pressing play and seeing a video start to stream or hitting a web link and seeing a webpage begin to load. For context, MIT researchers discovered the human brain “latency” is 13 milliseconds.
  • Supported hundreds of simultaneous connected users using the 5G network.

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Participants: Small businesses 

  • Observed no impacts on 5G mmWave signal performance due to rain, snow or other weather events.
  • Learned mmWave signals can penetrate materials such as significant foliage, glass and even walls better than initially anticipated.
  • Observed more than 1 Gbps speeds under line of sight conditions up to 900 feet. That’s equal to the length of 3 football fields.

South Bend, Indiana

Participants: Small business and residential customers

  • Observed a full end-to-end 5G network architecture, including the 5G radio system and core, demonstrating extremely low latency.
  • Successfully provided gigabit wireless speeds on mmWave spectrum in both line of sight and some non-line of sight conditions.

Arnoldi also reiterated that AT&T will begin deployment of 5G and have devices to support in before the end of 2018.

“It’s no coincidence that AT&T is aiming to be the first U.S. carrier to launch standards-based, mobile 5G services to customers this year,” Arnold wrote.

“We’ve been ‘practicing’ for this moment for almost 2 years. And unlike some of our competitors, we plan to offer a 5G-capable device to customers this year, too. After all, what’s the use of a highway without an on-ramp?”

Beginning the post with three strong words (“Practice makes perfect”), Arnoldi added: “We had a lot of questions when we started. And we’re confident we have all the answers we need to deploy a mobile 5G network that works for people all over the country.”

Early reaction from media was very positive:

And so the dawn of 5G becomes closer to reality. Can you wait?