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AT&T doubles down on 5G with second test location

Some residents in Austin, Texas, and Middletown, New Jersey, will be able to try out 5G as their home broadband service.

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Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
2 min read
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Sara Tew/CNET

Citizens of Middletown, New Jersey, get ready for a new kind of home Internet service.

AT&T said on Monday that Middletown will join Austin, Texas, as the two locations for using 5G wireless technology as a home broadband service, scheduled for the end of summer. The nation's second largest wireless carrier said early tests with equipment partner Ericsson have yielded speeds of 10 gigabits a second, or 10 times faster than what Google Fiber offers.

In comparison, CNET visited Verizon's headquarters and saw its 5G tests run at 3.77 gigabits a second, fast enough to download the entire "Simpsons" series -- nearly 600 high-definition episodes -- in about half an hour. The AT&T test is nearly three times faster.

Wireless carriers are ramping up the hype for 5G, the next generation of wireless technology that promises to bring higher speeds, connect more devices and potentially revolutionize the industry. These trials are another reminder that companies such as AT&T are investing in your future. The reality, however, is that mass adoption of 5G as a wireless service is still years away, and many of these tests represent theoretical peak speeds that we may never see in the real world.

In addition, the wireless industry still has to settle on standards for 5G, which likely won't happen until 2020. Until then, companies such as AT&T and Verizon are working on 5G-like technology that they believe will eventually get worked into the standards. They are also starting not with a true mobile service, but with a fixed version that acts more like a home Internet connection.

AT&T also said it tapped Nokia alongside other vendors for its 5G work.