Last night AT&T announced that they have started rolling out new white box cell towers to power 5G internet. These towers leave behind the proprietary routers that AT&T currently uses in their towners. These new towers are built around open standards and can be quickly upgraded via software.
“White box represents a radical realignment of the traditional service provider model,” said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer and president, AT&T Labs. “We’re no longer constrained by the capabilities of proprietary silicon and feature roadmaps of traditional vendors. We’re writing open hardware specifications for these machines, and developing the open source software that powers these boxes. This means faster hardware upgrades, since anyone can build to these specs. And software upgrades that move at internet speed. We’re doing this all while keeping costs low so we can focus on expanding our nationwide mobile 5G footprint for our customers as quickly as possible.”
With this update, AT&T no longer needs to physically visit each tower to make an update and can now remotely update their equipment with the latest technology. This should help the rollout of 5G in 12 markets around the United States this year.
AT&T did not list all of the markets that will get 5G this year but they did announce that Atlanta, Dallas, and Waco will be among the first to get 5G home internet this year. The first 5G compatible devices will be mobile hotspots with 5G capable mobile smartphones coming in early 2019.
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