Don't be fooled: AT&T's new network isn't really 5G

Yolanda Curtis
April 26, 2017

AT&T is also hoping to generate some excitement for its network by giving "customers a taste of the future" according to David Christopher, AT&T Entertainment Group's chief marketing officer. There are just no set standards for it at present time. And although the service doesn't meet any global 5G standards because those standards haven't been finalized yet, it does use some of the technology that may be used for 5G, such as carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM.

AT&T today said it will launch AT&T 5G Evolution wireless service in 20 markets before year-end, beginning with a launch in Austin, Texas today. This nebulously termed service is launching today in Austin, with a wider rollout by year's end.

That's in the same ballpark as the speeds that are possible with 4G LTE, thanks to recent technologies like carrier aggregation, which can use multiple frequencies to achieve speeds over 300Mbps.

Operator is preparing to launch 5G Evolution Plan in Indianapolis this summer.Some of the major metros in plans include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, San Francisco and others.

With that successful start, AT&T is looking ahead. Simply put, AT&T is simply leveraging existing LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro standards to deliver faster speeds.

AT&T claims its 5G Evolution spec is twice as fast as its current 4G LTE network, which OpenSignal rated at about 14Mbps on average in February.

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