Telecommunications giant AT&T says it is building a testing facility in Austin to simulate real-world customer experiences with its evolving 5G network.
The broadband provider is calling the testing facility a 5G lab. AT&T said the facility will open in North Austin in the spring and be used to test 5G network equipment and devices before they are rolled out to customers. AT&T said it has several labs throughout the country.
AT&T is in the process of launching a full mobile 5G network in 12 cities this year, with its first locations including Dallas, Atlanta and Waco. The company said it will announce the other cities in coming months.
The term 5G stands for 5th generation wireless broadband technology, which is expected to be faster and have better data capacity than current 4G networks.
Conducting 5G tests in Austin “will allow us to continue our leadership in standards-based 5G mobile deployments,” AT&T said in a written statement. “The lab will be where our engineers can build and test creative solutions and run ‘stress tests’ – simulating real-world customer experiences.”
Austin is one of 23 U.S. cities where AT&T has been testing its 5G Evolution network, which is known as a faster version of the 4G networks but not a full 5G service.
AT&T said its 5G network should be 10 to 100 times faster than 4G. The company said the 5G network will integrate with the current LTE technology.”
“We’re working on an aggressive schedule to help ensure customers can enjoy mobile 5G when we launch the network this year,” AT&T said. “We will add more 5G capable mobile devices and smartphones in early 2019 and beyond.”
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