Central Texans will be among the first in the nation to experience 5G -- or fifth generation mobile technology -- that tech companies say will increase bandwidth and lower latency, meaning consumers will be able to transfer data more quickly.
AT&T will roll out 5G in a handful of cities this year -- and one of them is Waco.
The telecommunication company is the first to announce plans to offer 5G to customers in 2018.
“After significantly contributing to the first phase of 5G standards, conducting multi-city trials, and literally transforming our network for the future, we’re planning to be the first carrier to deliver standards-based mobile 5G – and do it much sooner than most people thought possible,” Igal Elbaz, AT&T senior vice president of Wireless Network Architecture and Design, said in a statement.
In 2017, AT&T set the foundation for this latest announcement when it embarked on what it dubbed the "5G Evolution" last spring. The company conducted field trials in mid-2016, including tests with residential customers, businesses and high-traffic retail centers. One of those trials was at Magnolia in Waco.
In order to streamline its full 5G deployment, AT&T will open a 5G lab in Austin, where it will conduct more tests. There, engineers will be able to simulate real-world environments and test how the technology holds up under stress.
AT&T hopes to offer 5G technology in at least a dozen cities by the end of 2018. Beyond Waco, the only cities the mobile giant had yet announced were Dallas and Atlanta. But, a spokesperson said more cities would be announced in the coming months.
Click here to learn more about what AT&T is proposing.