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Forget 4G LTE: AT&T is already working on 5G field testing

The insane wireless speeds are coming to Texas.


Selena Larson


Posted on Feb 12, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 5:40 am CDT

A super-fast wireless technology that will let you download movies in seconds and will effortlessly manage tech like self-driving cars and virtual reality is coming to Austin, TX. AT&T announced it’s finally beginning to field test 5G this year. 

Following a similar announcement from Verizon, AT&T laid out its roadmap for testing the wireless network, which will be 10 to 100 times faster than 4G LTE, the fastest speeds currently available to mobile consumers. 

The company said its working with Ericsson and Intel to develop and test the technology which will begin field tests by the end of the year. 5G stands for “fifth generation” mobile wireless network, and its speeds will be measured in gigabits, not megabits, slicing minutes off the time it takes to download a movie. 

The hype surrounding 5G speeds is hitting the masses much faster than the technology actually will. It’s expected to be commercially available by 2020, but standards haven’t been set yet. 

5G technology will affect much more than just your smartphone. As development on self-driving cars, connected homes, and robotics advances, 5G wireless will transform the way these technologies communicate. 

5G sensors will reportedly be able to tell your autonomous car when there’s an accident miles ahead, or allow people to operate heavy machinery through virtual reality headsets from different parts of the world. Oh, and it’ll also deliver your Snapchat selfies at blazing speeds, which might be the most important bullet point. 

Photo via Janitors/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 12, 2016, 2:49 pm CST