AT&T Launches 5G Wireless Network in Indianapolis

AT&T has launched a 5G Evolution network in parts of Indianapolis, to provide faster wireless speeds and an enhanced experience for customers. 5G Evolution hsa been implemented in Indianapolis, and select areas of Austin, to give customers a taste of the future of entertainment and connectivity on compatible devices. The deployment of multiple network upgrades enables wireless download speeds twice as fast as 4G LTE network.

By the end of this year, AT&T plans to make 5G Evolution available in over 20 metro areas. In addition to previously launching in Austin, it had announced plans for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Francisco.

It is aggressively deploying equipment, investing in the right mix of spectrum and technology, and laying the foundation for the evolution to 5G while 5G standards are being finalized. AT&T is working with more than a dozen global technology companies to get 5G ready for deployment. It helped lead efforts to lock down some key components of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) wireless standards requirements by the end of 2017. This new timeline will help with the development of chipsets needed for global 5G and the delivery of standards-based 5G mobile networks as early as late 2018.

AT&T worked closely with the City of Indianapolis to ensure its network and infrastructure is ready to support the technology of the future. The investments prepare it for the future of 5G as innovations like self-driving cars start appearing on city roads. Adding next generation technologies to the wireless network in Indianapolis is just one of ways it is investing to improve the customer experience in the area. In fact, AT&T invested more than $350 million in Indianapolis wireless and wired networks during 2014 - 2016. It also launched a new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and added network capacity to nine existing systems in Indianapolis to serve customers at large venues such as airports, stadiums, and malls over the past year.

In 5G Evolution metros AT&T upgraded cell towers with network upgrades that include LTE Advanced technologies like 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and 3-way carrier aggregation. These features, together with other upgrades made in network, are providing faster speeds and a better customer experience. With the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ phones, AT&T wireless customers in 5G Evolution metros can access and take advantage of these technologies.

By the end of 2017, AT&T expects to deploy LTE-License Assisted Access and 4-way carrier aggregation in certain areas of 5G Evolution metros. It recently tested LTE-LAA technology in San Francisco where peak speeds of more than 750 Mbps were observed. It now plans to expand LTE-LAA testing to additional areas of San Francisco and Indianapolis locations in the coming weeks.

Small cells are also an important ingredient on the path to 5G. They use centralized RAN (C-RAN) architecture, which means the "brains" of each small cell or tower exist in one location. This allows engineers to add capacity and improve efficiency for hundreds of cell sites quickly and simultaneously. C-RAN is a key building block for AT&T’s software-defined network - which is integral to the 5G network architecture.