1Why AT&T’s 5G Evolution Has Little to Do With Real 5G Wireless
AT&T this week announced that it was launching a new service to select markets across the United States called 5G Evolution. But its name is the closest to 5G as the technology will ever get. While it will deliver faster speeds than users ordinarily would find on 4G LTE, 5G Evolution won’t offer the kinds of speeds customers would hope to find on a real 5G network. In fact, it’s not even running on the same technology 5G networks are expected to use when the real service starts arriving within the next five years. But that’s just the start of the quirks and caveats AT&T customers should know about. This slide show will provide more detail about AT&T’s new 5G Evolution and the limitations users can expect if they qualify for the program.
2What Is 5G Evolution, Anyway?
The term 5G Evolution is really a misnomer. The technology isn’t actually 5G or anything related to it. It’s simply a step up from AT&T’s 4G LTE network. AT&T says 5G Evolution is a way for it to “continue to lay the foundation for our evolution to 5G” while the mobile industry works on getting the new protocol ready to deploy.
35G Evolution Doesn’t Run on Real 5G Technology
AT&T referred to 4×4 MIMO antennas and 256 quadrature amplitude modulation in its 5G Evolution press release. Neither of those technologies will be part of 5G; the technology is expected to use millimeter-wave band transmission. But that might change as technical standards for 5G networks continue to be developed.
4Mobile Users Will See Faster Service Speeds
5Here’s Where It’s Available
6Here’s Where It’s Going
In its statement, AT&T said it plans to next bring the technology to Indianapolis in the summer. After that, 5G Evolution will roll out to more than 20 metro areas including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Francisco. AT&T didn’t say when the rollouts in those markets will happen.
7Most, But Not All Customers Will Get Access
8There’s a Device Limitation
9AT&T Will Support More Hardware Over Time
10AT&T Says It Will Keep Improving Connectivity
11The Work on Real 5G Continues
All this talk of 5G Evolution might make some wonder what AT&T has planned for actual 5G. Like other carriers, AT&T continues to test the technology that ultimately will be used to deliver 5G to customers. But, it’s waiting for standards bodies to finalize specs and its network likely won’t be fully operational for years.