First 5G Evolution markets in Austin and Indianapolis this year will deliver peak theoretical wireless speeds of 400Mbps or higher
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — 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 today, 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.
Software-defined networking – Data on our mobile network has increased about 250,000% since 2007, and most of that traffic is video. SDN is essential to handle this data growth that will continue to accelerate. We’ve already converted 34% of our network functionality to SDN and are on our way to 75% by 2020. Millions of wireless customers are already using our virtualized and software controlled network. Today, we’re announcing our network virtualization goal for year end 2017 is 55%.
Open sourcing ECOMP – ECOMP is the orchestration platform we created to power our software-defined network. Today, we’re officially announcing that ECOMP will be part of an open source project, hosted by the Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation will release more information about this project in the coming weeks. You can learn more about our work on ECOMP here.
Data Platform – At our January Developer Summit in Las Vegas, we unveiled our push to create a trusted environment where organizations can share data and collaborate on analytics in a secure environment. One where privacy choices and requirements are respected. We told you a deeper explanation of this was coming and today we’re releasing it.
Last month, we used healthcare as an example of our vision. Doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and researchers all want better, trusted ways to share data while maintaining patient privacy.
This could speed the cure of cancer and other diseases. Patients could participate in medical trials far away from university hospitals. Imagine a data-sharing community for smart cities initiatives. Or a cybersecurity community with machine-learning from all threats to its members, not just threats against one member. Such a community has the potential to vastly improve its protection.
You can find this deeper explanation here. We have more to share on this in coming months as well.
This is a lot to digest and it challenges decades-long way of thinking about networking. We’ve captured Indigo and how all these pieces come together into one platform here. This highlights what Indigo means for AT&T, but more importantly, what it means for customers and developers.
“Indigo is unique because it will be data powered and software controlled,” said Andre Fuetsch, president AT&T Labs and chief technology officer. “Those are powerful tools, but they also require a unique level of collaboration with software developers and other third parties. In particular, we think the open source community has a huge role. Open source ECOMP is part of that. We’re also heavy users and developers of OpenStack, Open Contrail and other open source software tools. We encourage developers and other innovators to get involved. We need their input as much as we need the expertise of the big, traditional vendors.”
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
**5G Evolution peak theoretical wireless speeds will be enabled in select market areas and require a compatible device.