AT&T at a recent event in San Francisco revealed intentions to launch its first “5G Evolution Markets” in Austin and Indianapolis in the coming months.
The preliminary wireless network will offer theoretical peak speeds of 400Mbps (or higher), AT&T says, adding that as additional technologies like carrier aggregation and LTE-License Assisted Access (LAA) are factored in, theoretical peak speeds should hit 1Gbps in some areas by the end of the year.
The wireless network rollout is part of a larger platform dubbed AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo, or simply “Indigo” for short.
John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer and Group President of AT&T’s Technology and Operations division, said they see Indigo as the third generation of modern networking that is a living, evolving and upgradeable platform. He likened Indigo to the operating system on your phone, saying that’s the model they’re using to develop the network.
Just a few days ago, AT&T said it was in advanced discussions with power companies with regard to trial runs of Project AirGig. If you recall, that project uses low-cost plastic antennas and devices that’ll mount atop existing power line poles to regenerate millimeter wave signals for 4G LTE and 5G deployments.
AT&T also touched on a few other technologies it’s working on and even open-sourced ECOMP. While it’s all exciting, there’s no reason to get too excited at this point. True 5G for all is still many years away but again, it’s reassuring to know that carriers are actively working towards a faster future.