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AT&T: 5G Coming To U.S. This Year


Telecom giant AT&T Inc. (T) said it expects to become the first U.S. carrier to introduce mobile 5G service in a dozen U.S. cities by late 2018. In addition, the company expects to trial 5G technology with businesses of all sizes across industries.

AT&T noted that 3GPP, the international wireless standards body, completed key elements of 5G New Radio or NR standards in December. These new specifications will now enable hardware, chipset and device manufacturers to start development.

"We're moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more," said Melissa Arnoldi, President of AT&T Technology and Operations.

In addition, AT&T plans to extend its 5G Evolution from 23 major metros to "hundreds of additional metro areas," while expanding AT&T Fiber to at least 82 metros by mid-2019.

5G technology aims at higher capacity than current 4G networks, allowing a higher density of mobile broadband users, and supporting device-to-device, more reliable, and massive machine communications.

AT&T noted that 5G will also mean much lower latency, or the time taken for the network to recognize that a user has requested a chunk of data and to start sending that data.

5G technologies are expected to allow future driverless vehicles to make real-time decisions based on the information that goes beyond the individual sensors on-board the vehicle itself.

Vehicles will be able to "see" around corners, through other vehicles, and at longer distances, thus enabling them to quickly make sense of their environment and help guide safe operations on the road.

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