Intel today announced the world’s first global 5G modem, giving the company the ability to help with testing of any initial 5G deployments that may be in the pipeline for 2017. In a stroke of luck that we can only assume isn’t luck at all, AT&T has also announced plans for 5G on its network, outlining what it has planned for the company’s “5G Evolution.”

Intel’s newly announced 5G model will reportedly be capable of speeds in excess of 5Gbps whilst also managing to ensure latency is at a super-low level. The modem already ticks all the right boxes for compliance with a number of 5G specifications, but for those areas and carriers where 5G isn’t possible, the modem can gracefully fall back to the current 4G standard should the need arise.

5G

In fact, Intel’s new modem can even use both 4G and 5G networks at the same time, potentially increasing the available bandwidth.

Intel expects to be able to begin full 5G testing some time in the second half of 2017 with the modem going into production following the completion of that testing. For its part, AT&T seems keen to ensure it’s out in front of the competition as far as 5G is concerned, as outlined by John Donovan, chief strategy officer of Technology and Operations at AT&T.

Our 5G Evolution plans will pave the way to the next-generation of higher speeds for customers. We’re not waiting until the final standards are set to lay the foundation for our evolution to 5G. We’re executing now.

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5G’s promise of greater speed and overall network performance brings huge opportunities not only for video but in the Internet of Things, 4K video, augmented and virtual reality, smart home and cities, autonomous vehicles and much more.

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In order to deliver on its claims, AT&T intends to offer 1Gbps speeds this year at cellular sites that support 4G LTE-Advanced technology whilst 5G trials with business and select residential customers in Austin is also penciled in for this calendar year.

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