United States —
AT&T has launched ‘5G Evolution’ network in parts of Indianapolis, providing faster wireless speeds and an enhanced experience for customers.
In Indianapolis, and in select areas of Austin, 5G Evolution offers customers a taste of the future of entertainment and connectivity on compatible devices. The telco claimed that this deployment of multiple network upgrades enabled wireless download speeds twice as fast as its 4G LTE network.
By the end of this year, AT&T plan to make 5G Evolution available in over 20 metro areas.
AT&T is aggressively deploying equipment, investing in the right mix of spectrum and technology, and laying the foundation for its evolution from LTE to 5G while 5G standards are being finalized.
The telco said that it is working with more than a dozen global technology companies to get 5G ready for deployment.
“We’re excited to launch these new, faster, wireless technologies in Indianapolis as we march towards standards-based mobile 5G,” said Marachel Knight, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design. “The upgrades in Indianapolis are crucial to the future of next generation connectivity in this city.”
The investments are aimed to prepare for the future of 5G as innovations like self-driving cars start appearing on city roads.
“Ongoing advancements in wireless technology are a crucial piece of the economic development puzzle,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “It’s tremendous that Indianapolis is leading the pack when it comes to the very latest in these kind of technologies, and a testament to our community’s vision and hard work.”
The telco said that adding these next generation technologies to the wireless network in Indianapolis is just one of ways it is investing to improve the customer experience in the area. the telco claimed that it has invested more than $350 million in Indianapolis wireless and wired networks during 2014-2016.
AT&T has launched a new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and added network capacity to nine existing systems in Indianapolis to serve customers at large venues such as airports, stadiums, and malls over the past year.
AT&T Progress on the Path to 5G
In 5G Evolution metros AT&T upgraded cell towers with network upgrades that include LTE Advanced technologies like 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO, and 3-way carrier aggregation. These features, together with other upgrades are providing faster speeds and a better customer experience.
With the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ phones, AT&T wireless customers in 5G Evolution metros can access and take advantage of these technologies. the operator has planned to launch more 5G Evolution capable devices in the coming months.
By the end of 2017, AT&T intends to deploy LTE-License Assisted Access and 4-way carrier aggregation in certain areas of 5G Evolution metros. AT&T has recently tested LTE-LAA technology in San Francisco where it observed peak speeds of more than 750Mbps. AT&T intends to expand LTE-LAA testing to additional areas of San Francisco and Indianapolis locations in the coming weeks.
Small cells are also an important ingredient on its path to 5G. For example, the telco has installed small cells in Indianapolis and plan to add more in the next few months. These small cells use centralized RAN (C-RAN) architecture, which means the “brains” of each small cell or tower exist in one location. This allows engineers to add capacity and improve efficiency for hundreds of cell sites quickly and simultaneously. C-RAN is a key building block for its software-defined network—which is integral to its 5G network architecture.