There is more to a smartphone than just hardware and applications, as aspects such as connectivity need to also be considered. But while the earlier features are the responsibility of the likes of Samsung and Apple, the latter is on the shoulders of telecom companies. AT&T, one of the biggest telecom companies, is going to revolutionize connectivity later on this year by introducing 5G technology.
According to a press release from the company, AT&T will roll out 5G technology later this year, beginning in Austin and Indianapolis. The tech, which is officially called AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo ("Indigo"), is not just meant to speed up connections and make them more security. There are, as the company's chief strategy officer John Donovan stated, improvements made to all aspects of the network.
"We see Indigo as the third generation of modern networking," he said. "Indigo is our term for a world whether it isn't just your connection speeds that are accelerating, but every element of the network becomes more seamless, efficient and capable." He went on to further describe the same as an upgradable platform, much like the operating systems found in smartphones. It is that model that the company is looking to place into its network.
The 5G technology will debut with faster speeds that reach locations data connectivity currently do not, as expected. However, AT&T will also be adding features that might come as a bit of a surprise. Reportedly, elements of Big Data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber security will be added as well. All these things will correspondingly makeup Indigo.
In terms of actual usage, individuals will be able to browse and use applications with little thought to security and stability, as 5G will improve on this features exponentially. Video and photos can be viewed, uploaded and downloaded at faster rates. Moreover, users will be able to connect to even more internet-connected devices, which are growing in number day by day.
5G has been a work in progress for decades now, as telecom companies have been expanding what a smartphone is capable of doing via its connectivity options. As Gizmodo notes, the "G" actually stands for "generation," the first of which went on air in the early 1990s. At that point, cell phones were only capable of making calls from one to the other - evident in the fact that the screen of the device, if there was one, was small and limited.
When 2G was introduced, the public was finally able to send black and white messages between one handheld to the next. Then 3G added browsing the internet. On the other hand, 4G can be considered as an improvement in features that led up to that point. It introduced a better way to communicate via phone calls, text messaging and browsing the web. It was even made possible to download items into a smartphone. LTE made everything faster.
5G - like its predecessors - will soon become the standard for data connectivity. At this point, it looks as if AT&T will lead the pack to that future, with residents of Austin and Indianapolis as the lucky first users. The technology will be rolling out sometime within the year, although no specific date has been provided.