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AT&T will start testing 5G this year

5 stunning stats about the mobile industry

AT&T has finally made a splashy 5G announcement of its own.

Facing pressure from an increasingly competitive wireless market, AT&T opened up about its 5G plans: It's aiming to field-test its 5G network in Austin, Texas, before the end of this year.

That's puts AT&T on pace with its biggest rival.

Verizon (VZ, Tech30) surprised the telecom world last year by saying it planned to start rolling out 5G by 2017 -- years earlier than industry experts had expected. AT&T initially resisted a me-too approach, declaring its rival's announcement as premature. The standards for what constitutes 5G won't even be set until 2018, the company noted.

But AT&T says it's ready to start sharing its 5G roadmap. It's working with Ericsson and Intel, and it will begin testing 5G in a lab this spring before testing it outdoors later in 2016.

AT&T (T, Tech30) expects that its 5G network will deliver speeds between 10 and 100 times...