Scouting the nation to trial its 5G wireless technology, AT&T® selected Waco, especially Magnolia Market, Webster Avenue, and South Sixth Street. Then the Dallas-based telecommunications company included Waco into its list of the first cities to get 5G mobile service by 2018.
The best internet provider selected Waco city to conduct “the world’s first wireless 5G data transfer over millimeter wave using standards-based, production equipment with a mobile form factor device.” The data transfer took place between a mobile trial device as well as a 5G radio, with the former representing future mobile devices, said AT&T’s spokesperson, Diane Brandon. Its goal was to prove a “link” between one mobile device and the 5G network as well as make sure they could “talk” to one another in an outdoor and live environment, Brandon said. She further added that the network got the data transfer.
“We’re at the dawn of something new that will define the next decade and generation of connectivity,” wrote the Chief Technology Officer and President of AT&T® Labs, Andre Fuetsch, in a recent press release. He also wrote that “Future smart factories and retailers, self-driving cars, untethered virtual and augmented realities, and other yet to be discovered experiences will grow up on tomorrow’s 5G networks. Much like 4G introduced the world to the gig economy, mobile 5G will jumpstart the next wave of unforeseen innovation.”
In 2019, the Telco giant will build out its 5G offerings into parts of Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Nashville, San Francisco, Orlando, and San Jose. Brandon said that selecting Waco city was part of this process.
“Where possible, we wanted to work with cities where local municipalities and governments embrace next generation technology and were open to AT&T® installing the necessary infrastructure in their cities,” she said, citing company sources. “Among other things, we also considered whether cities are nearby AT&T’s ‘hubs’ of Dallas and Atlanta.”
In the long term, the Telco says, the 5G technology could actually play a role in non-personal devices that comprise sensors, streetlights, and water meters. Brandon assured that local businesses and residences would benefit from the technology in many ways, comprising quicker wireless speeds as well as reduced latency.
“Latency can be described as ‘network lag time,’ or the time from when you push play on a video and it actually starts playing,” she said. “For businesses, lower latency and higher speeds of 5G could eventually be used for hospitals experimenting with remote surgery to smart factories that utilize robots and sensors to source and pack items, or even local mom and pop shops that want to implement reliable wireless checkout systems and back office functions to help them do business faster.”