AT&T wants big mobile players to form a 5G dream team

The carrier is talking to carriers and vendors about collaboration on the future standard

There are many possible ways to build what 5G is supposed to deliver, but only one standard. To avoid putting money and effort into technologies that don’t make the cut, the big mobile players want to get others on their side.

AT&T is hoping to collaborate with a set of carriers and equipment vendors that’s so broad and powerful it might be unstoppable. On Wednesday, the company said it’s having preliminary discussions with an A-list lineup of players to align their efforts on defining the future standard.

The names include Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei Technologies, Qualcomm Technologies, Intel, Samsung, and LG. AT&T also wants to pull in some big carriers, including China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, Telstra, and Vodafone. One name notably missing from the list on AT&T ‘s press release was archrival Verizon, which itself is running trials of potential 5G technologies.

The 3GPP industry group will define the 5G standard, which is expected to go into commercial use in 2020 but would have to be locked down a bit earlier to make that target. AT&T and other carriers, along with equipment makers, have already started trials of technologies they want to see in the standard.

“Interim and fragmented pre-standard specifications can distract from the ultimate goal,” Tom Keathley, AT&T’s senior vice president for wireless network architecture and design, said in a press release. “Linking trials to the standards process is the fastest path to large-scale global 5G deployment.”

Among other things, 5G is expected to help millions of IoT devices reach the cloud, give consumers gigabit speeds on their smartphones, and let moving vehicles communicate with almost no delays. But all those features probably won’t arrive at the same time in 2020. Analysts expect carriers to roll out 5G strategically where it’s needed, relying on LTE to make most ordinary connections for a long time.

Early alignment of big mobile operators in the U.S., Japan, and Korea should help speed up the development of 5G, said independent mobile industry analyst Chetan Sharma. Carriers’ first focus seems to be fixed wireless access, an alternative to fiber for home broadband. Over time, the operators are likely to use 5G where they see the potential to bring in more money per gigabyte of data delivered, he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags 5G

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?