5G – Next Generation Mobile Network

5G – Next Generation Mobile Network    

At AT&T, we’re leading the evolution to 5G. We’re always evolving our network and looking forward to what’s next. The work we’re doing on our network today is laying the foundation for 5G. 5G simply stands for fifth generation and refers to the next and newest mobile wireless standard.

Until 5G, speed was the primary driver and defining criterion among the Gs (2G, 3G, 4G). While speed will be important for 5G, the true 5G promise is much more. The vision of 5G is to enable the wireless network to essentially do what a fixed network can do (such as low latency and high throughput).

5G will transform the way you work, play and enjoy entertainment.                

  • 5G promises to take people places they’ve never been by unlocking new experiences such as augmented realities, virtual presence, driverless cars, telemedicine and connected homes.
  • 5G will accelerate the delivery of entertainment at home and on the go and many more consumer and business experiences.
  • 5G is ideal for bandwidth-hungry applications because it will support multiple radio interfaces, enable more spectrum efficiency, and take advantage of our advanced network capabilities.

We view potential 5G use cases in three primary categories: enhanced mobile broadband, massive connectivity (IoT) and low latency applications.

  • Customers will see much lower latency on 5G networks. Lower latency means customers will be able to click a button and see instant  action in an online game.

With a SDN, Big Data and Open Source network approach, and planned fiber build-out to millions of locations throughout the United States, AT&T is in a unique position to support next-generation 5G applications quickly and efficiently.

Our global leadership in moving to SDN is a key attribute in our 5G evolution, because it delivers a sizeable cost advantage in the deployment of 5G technology over a traditional, hardware-centric network approach.

We currently have 5G labs operating in four major cities – Austin, Texas, Middletown, N.J., Atlanta, Ga. and San Ramon, Calif.

Preparing for 5G: The need for small cell technology     

Consumers and businesses are using their mobile devices more than ever before to connect to everyone and everything around them. From January 2007 through December 2016, AT&T experienced a 250,000% increase in data usage on our network. And, as streaming video continues to become more prominent and new apps and services are introduced, this growth in data usage will continue to rise. 

Small cells help bring customers faster download speeds, improved call quality and a better overall wireless experience.

With this increased demand and pressure on the mobile network, AT&T is thinking of innovative ways to enhance our network, prepare for 5G network deployment and provide the best possible experience for our customers.

AT&T is proposing legislation that will:   

  • Address the permitting, installation, and operation of a “micro wireless facility” which could include a small cell facility or a distributed antenna system.
  • Expedite the process for the installation of micro wireless facilities to speed the deployment of advanced wireless services, such as 5G, to customers.
  • Expand current law to include access to municipally-owned structures that can support micro cell wireless facilities.
  • Specify the terms under which a micro wireless facility operator may construct a facility in a municipal right of way.
  • Direct municipalities to permit attachments by a micro wireless facility operator to a wireless support structures under non-discriminatory rates, fees, terms, and conditions. Such rates and fees shall allow only cost recovery related to the use of the structure.


Download AT&T’s One Pager on Preparing for 5G.
Download AT&T’s One Pager on 5G: Next Generation.