AT&T to Offer 5G in Austin, Indianapolis In 2017: Speeds May Reach Up To 400Mbps; Isolated Areas To Hit 1Gpbs
AT&T is planning interim speed boosts for rural customers and fiber subscribers in the US. These include residents of Austin and Indianapolis in their preparation for the rollout of 5G services in 2020.
The network service provider stated that the speed boosts will be live in a few months. According to PCMag, residents may experience speeds of up to 400Mbps. Undisclosed isolated areas might even reach as high as 1Gpbs.
At an event in San Fransisco, AT&T executives offered a glimpse into the implementation process. The behind-the-scenes changes to the company's network is vital for the upcoming upgrade.
Among them are the 8.5 million lines of code that let company engineers monitor data traffic. AT&T always checks for errors that slow down Internet speeds. Notably, the increase of video streaming makes up the bulk of the 250,000 percent increase in data consumption for the last 10 years.
The code is known as software-defined networking. It is an open source code that allows engineers to treat AT&T's network similar to a giant data center, remotely changing server configurations to optimize data flows. The technology configures data flows without having to send out field technicians.
As of today, 34 percent of the network is managed this way. AT&T is planning to complete 75 percent by 2020. The overhaul will come in with new hardware and will bring fiber-like speeds to some isolated and rural areas. Some 400,000 customers will be connected via this method by the end of 2017, according to the company.
The 5G field trials in Austin and Indianapolis will start in the next few months and city residents will start experiencing faster internet speeds. That's assuming that they have a compatible 5G device. The company has not yet released the list of the devices that are compatible with the 5G network.
AT&T's senior vice president for wired and wireless product marketing, Eric Boyer, said that the company aims to bring "really fast Internet." Stay tuned for updates.