How has your mobile Internet surfing experience been to date? Do you remember in the early days when you could simply go online, that alone was a pleasure? After all, it was a novelty back then -- not to mention a very expensive one. After GPRS arrived, then came EDGE which clearly proved to be a whole lot faster in terms of getting data back and forth on your mobile device, and users wanted more. What about video streaming and the like? This was when 3G technology started to knock on our front doors, and we gladly opened it to let it in. However, over the course of time, things have also changed -- and this meant that 3G speeds were insufficient for the more dynamic apps as well as mobile data consumption patterns among users, which led to the introduction of 4G LTE speeds. Now that we are more or less used to 4G LTE speeds being the “norm” on our smartphones, we thirst for even more, and 5G technology would come into play. AT&T is one carrier who certainly means business with this aspect of mobile data, which is why the company is about to kick off a 5G trial with the folks at Intel for an entire month, making this the first kind of trial for a business that is located in the US to date.
While 5G technology that boasts of multi-gigabit cellular speeds will most probably remain under wraps and undergo even more testing for the moment, it will most probably hit the market only some time in 2020, which is a fair number of years from now. However, it looks like Intel employees will be able to obtain a taster of it speeds in this very first customer trial.
The Intel facility that will benefit from this particular 5G trial will be located in Austin, Texas. It will make use of just a single cell site, which will cover an extremely limited area. We are looking at a radius of approximately 300 meters, that’s all. Pretty little, don’t you think so? That would mean just a few people being able to take advantage of it at any one time taking into consideration just how large the facility might be.
Why Intel? That should not be too difficult to answer, especially when Intel has been looking into the kind of technologies possible for 5G client and network equipment in an aggressive manner. Not only that, Intel is also another major contributor to smartphone innards apart from Qualcomm, and this is one area where the mobile device industry needs major players in the game in order to continue eking out advancements in technologies constantly.
Over at the Intel trial, AT&T intends it to be an exercise where it shows just how 5G technology is able to speed up business applications such as VPNs (virtual private networks) and unified communications. Of course, it is a no-brainer that 4K video and regular Internet access are also part of the mix, and cable broadband could just get some competition in this aspect in the near future.