AT&T wants to accelerate the 5G standards process and put a damper on what it calls “interim and fragmented pre-standard specifications” that it says can distract from the ultimate goal of deploying 5G.
The company announced today that it is in preliminary discussions with partners like China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, KDDI, LG, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung, SK Telecom, Telstra, and Vodafone. The goal is to enable faster 5G deployments once the 3GPP finishes the first release of its official specifications, which will form the basis of global standards.
Specifically, AT&T says it wants to solve key standards issues early so it can bring 5G to market more quickly and make its rollout smoother so that customers can get 5G services as soon as possible.
“We’re joining other tech leaders to find and resolve key standards issues early and bring 5G to market sooner,” said Tom Keathley, AT&T’s senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design, in a prepared statement.
AT&T’s stance is likely in response to competitor Verizon, which is pushing hard to deploy 5G as soon as possible. Last month Verizon released its 5G specs to potential vendors that want to help the U.S. operator build its 5G network. Verizon said the 5G specs offered guidelines on testing and validating 5G components that will help chipset vendors, network equipment makers, and others develop interoperable 5G gear that will assist with pre-standard testing and fabrication.
Verizon also just announced an alliance with SK Telecom to develop 5G technical specifications that it hopes will become a global standard. Plus, last February, Verizon teamed with Korean operators KT and SK Telecom and Japanese Telco NTT DoCoMo to form the Open Trial Specification Alliance with a goal of aligning on 5G trial specifications.