AT&T said Monday that its 5G network, bound to eventually build on its 4G LTE footprint, is already capable of hitting blistering 10 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) speeds in lab tests. Before you let that drool drip from your chin onto your Ed Hardy sleeveless, note that lab tests are far different from real-world speeds where anything can interrupt a signal – this is under absolutely ideal conditions, after all – but it’s impressive nonetheless.
AT&T said that the tests were designed to at least “simulate” the real world where thousands of people are trying to access the network at once, just like “what [AT&T] customers might see at a concert or football game,” the company said. “This lets us test key network advancements, including connectivity signal performance, reliability, range and coverage.” That’s good news, because it means the speeds are capable of delivering that 10Gbps throughput even when there’s a lot of demand for the network.
AT&T said Ericsson and Nokia helped on the trials, which occurred in Austin, Texas. The company believes gigabit 5G will be important particularly for self-driving cars that will depend on low-latency networks. Outdoor connectivity trials are scheduled for later this summer, and AT&T expects the first phase of its roll-out will begin in 2018.