Your network experience is more than just a “G” thing. It’s more than just speeds and feeds. It’s about what you can do with your connection. What your connection does for you. It’s about security and privacy. It’s about being data-powered. It’s about software control and embracing the power and innovation of the open source community.
AT&T* is bringing this all together in a platform we call AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo (“Indigo”). “We see Indigo as the third generation of modern networking,” said John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president, Technology and Operations. “Indigo is our term for a world where it isn’t just your connection speeds that are accelerating, but every element of the network becomes more seamless, efficient and capable. It is a living, evolving, upgradeable platform. Think of Indigo like the operating system on your phone. We’re taking that model to the network.” People won’t ask how fast their connection is. They’ll ask, ‘Can I livestream a virtual reality broadcast of my trip to the beach?’, or ‘Can my bank securely and quickly authenticate a purchase I want to make when I’m traveling?’
Wireless technologies like 5G will be part of what enables that experience. But elements like Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, cybersecurity and software-defined networking (SDN) are just as critical. All of that is Indigo.
At an event in San Francisco, AT&T laid out several elements of its network innovation that are helping the company drive to Indigo:
- 5G Evolution – It all starts with connectivity. And we’re at the forefront of the push to next-generation network connections. We’ll launch our first “5G Evolution Markets” in the coming months in Austin and Indianapolis. We expect our wireless network to offer theoretical peak speeds of 400Mbps or higher.** As we continue densifying our network and deploying technologies, like carrier aggregation and LTE-License Assisted Access (LAA), we expect to enable theoretical peak speeds up to 1Gbps in some areas in 2017.Additionally, we’re building 2 new 5G testbeds set to go on-air this spring at the AT&T Labs in Austin. Last fall, we launched what we believe to be the industry’s first 5G business customer trial in Austin. These new testbeds will support our existing 5G work, as well as trials using a fixed wireless 5G connection and the ability to stream DIRECTV NOW and access enhanced broadband services for residential and small-to-medium business customers in Austin.
The testbeds will include dedicated 5G outdoor and indoor test locations. They’ll feature flexible infrastructure to allow modifications and updates as 5G standards develop. We will work with multiple vendors to evaluate advanced 5G technology concepts for both fixed and mobile solutions, test network infrastructure and devices and explore 5G signal coverage for the 28GHz, 39GHz, and sub-6GHz frequency bands.
We believe the massive bandwidth and low latency of 5G will help enable applications like self-driving cars and mobile augmented reality and virtual reality headsets.