In preparation of launching its 5G mobile network in 2018, AT&T Inc. announced Feb. 21 it will open a 5G lab in North Austin this spring, a representative confirmed.
The first dozen cities to get mobile 5G include parts of Dallas, Atlanta and Waco. Additional cities and a timeline for a nationwide rollout of the 5G network will be announced in the coming months, the representative confirmed.
“After significantly contributing to the first phase of 5G standards, conducting multi-city trials, and literally transforming our network for the future, we’re planning to be the first carrier to deliver standards-based mobile 5G and do it much sooner than most people thought possible,” said Igal Elbaz, AT&T’s senior vice president of Wireless Network Architecture and Design. “Our mobile 5G firsts will put our customers in the middle of it all.”
AT&T began doing 5G field trials in 2016 and tested the service with some residential customers as well as small and large businesses and high-traffic retail areas.
The 5G lab in Austin will allow AT&T workers to conduct tests to deploy the 5G mobile network. Engineers will be able to build and test solutions and run stress tests based on real customer experiences, according to the release.
One of the first projects built in the lab will be the Advanced 5G NR Testbed Systems, or ANTS.
“ANTS will let us test unique and forward-looking features on a simulated 5G network for eventual standardization and use on our commercial network,” company officials said. “By re-creating a physical 5G radio environment in our labs, we have greater control over what is deployed to customers.”