AT&T says it has lit up 5G at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and surpassed 1.5 Gbps download speeds in field tests of a software update on its live 5G network.
The carrier first announced plans to bring mobile 5G to the stadium earlier this year, but noted coverage in the venue is still limited at this point. AT&T expects to expand mobile 5G coverage at the stadium—home of the Dallas Cowboys —in the coming weeks.
“Some hear 5G and just think it means faster connection speeds. However, it goes beyond that,” said Igal Elbaz, SVP Wireless Technology at AT&T, said when plans were first announced. “5G is expected to alter the in-stadium experience in dramatic, exciting ways by blurring the physical and digital experience in ways that are simply not possible on today’s networks.”
Coinciding with the stadium announcement, AT&T touted field tests on its live commercial millimeter wave 5G network that hit download speeds of 1.53 Gbps. The carrier used a mobile form factor test device to successfully test a new software update.
“The advantage with having a live mobile 5G network is that we could test this upgrade in the lab and take it to the field within hours,” wrote Gordon Mansfield, VP of converged access and device design at AT&T, in a post about the achievement. “And, we could observe how the upgrade performed in both settings – which are very different.”
Mansfield said AT&T intends to deploy the network upgrade across its network “as quickly as possible,” though did not provide specifics about the upgrade or timing of a rollout.
Separately, rival carrier Sprint hit AT&T with a lawsuit Thursday seeking to stop the company from branding enhancements to its LTE network and service as ‘5GE’. Sprint accused AT&T of false advertising and deception, claiming AT&T is attempting to gain an unfair advantage in the race to 5G.
AT&T defended its choice, saying in a statement: “We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G. 5G Evolution and the 5GE indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available.”
AT&T went on to say that it will fight the lawsuit, and also took a shot at Sprint’s own 5G claims.
“Sprint will have to reconcile its arguments to the FCC that it cannot deploy a widespread 5G network without T-Mobile while simultaneously claiming in this suit to be launching ‘legitimate 5G technology imminently’,” AT&T said.