AT&T has confirmed that the company would be launching a real, standards-based 5G network .
There is good news for all those who are waiting for an authentic next-generation 5G network. John Donovan, CEO of AT&T, has confirmed that the company would be launching a real, standards-based 5G network in the next few weeks. Earlier this year, AT&T had announced that they would launch the 5G network in over 20 cities by the end of this year, unlike the ‘5G Evolution’ network that it rolled out last year, which essentially contained the same 4G LTE improvements that its competitors were doing.
The company claims that the customers with a Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be able to take advantage of a 5G Evolution connection at twice the speeds of the company’s 4G LTE network, hinting that 5G Evolution may be faster than its current 4G networks.
The announcement, however, had pointed many fingers on the company’s commitment when it’s a known fact that 5G technology doesn’t exist yet. Standards organisations like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the 3GPP have yet to release standards for 5G. Also, 5G technology is widely expected to use millimeter wave (mmWave) band transmission, a wholly different technology from current LTE networks that would use entirely different bands of frequency and new types of antennas.
Moreover, AT&T has also been criticised for the features that the company claims to be of 5G Evolution as they have already been live on T-Mobile since 2016. The technology that AT&T says it’s using is distinctly not what’s considered 5G. It uses 4x4 MIMO antennas and 256 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) to reach those speeds. In other words, the company is taking advantage of technologies from the existing LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro standards like MIMO (multiple antennas) technology and carrier aggregation to deliver a faster connection.
The experts, however, are of the opinion that Verizon has beaten AT&T to the punch for the first 5G network in the US, launching its early 5G network in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento in the beginning of October. But Verizon’s network isn’t based on the 3GPP’s 5G NR specification, instead using a different, earlier standard called 5G TF. ‘G Evolution’ isn’t 5G, just faster 4G LTE speeds, regardless of what AT&T says.