RALEIGH – 5G is continuing to move to reality from hype as a key test confirms.
AT&T, which has said it will launch next-generation “5G” wireless service in the Triangle and Charlotte later this year, reported Friday its first successful 5G transmission to a mobile device.
The transmission was the first across millimeter wave bandwidth based on standards-defined equipment in the world, according to AT&T.
“We remain on track to be the first carrier to introduce mobile 5G services in the U.S. … including Raleigh,” an AT&T spokesperson said.
Tech news site Tom’s Guide noted the significance of the news:
“Previous 5G tests have been conducted with non standards-compliant hardware, in highly specialized scenarios. In other words, they either weren’t using products you could buy, or they weren’t running on infrastructures that existed outside of laboratories and test chambers. The fact that AT&T’s successful test in Waco, Texas, this week was conducted using production-ready hardware means that 5G’s arrival isn’t merely closer than its ever been before; it’s practically at our doorstep.”
The test involved a transmission to a Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot in Waco, Texas. AT&T noted that the test involved a “browsing session was on what will be a commercially available 5G device” and included a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem.
“Today’s news is a seminal moment in the advancement of mobile 5G technology,” said David Christopher, president of AT&T Mobility and Entertainment, in a statement.“This proves we are well on our way to the promise of mobile 5G for consumers.”
5G promises 100 times faster data transmission with less latency than current 4G service.
The AT&T news comes a day after President Trump called for development of a national strategic plan of 5G technology. Standards and equipment continue to be developed by AT&T, Verizon and other wireless carriers as well as tech firms.
“We plan to reach at least 12 cities this year – Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, San Antonio and Waco – and 19 cities in early 2019,” the spokesperson said.
“We will announce additional markets individually as we make our mobile 5G network live locally.”
More information from AT&T is available online at https://about.att.com/sites/5G