For AT&T Mobile 'Edge,' Clouds Connect the Car & More to 5G

'We're all in.' AT&T puts a marker in the sand for future mobile edge network development.

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

July 19, 2017

1 Min Read
For AT&T Mobile 'Edge,' Clouds Connect the Car & More to 5G

AT&T is putting down a marker in the sand for mobile edge computing, stating this week that having network resources closer to the edge in 5G will help to enable new services like the connected car.

AT&T says that the challenge of next-generation applications like augmented or virtual reality, and the connected car, is that they will eat mountains of data. The carrier states that by some estimates, self-driving cars will generate as much as 3.6 terabytes of data per hour from the clusters of cameras on board and other sensors. Some of this -- like braking -- will always be handled locally at the car, but much -- such as mapping -- can be offloaded to the cloud.

The incredibly low latency of 5G networks -- measured at around 1 millisecond -- is part of how this can happen, and mapping updates will happen in near-real-time. The other aspect, however, is getting the mobile cloud -- the servers that store this information -- as close to the user as possible.

Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on
Light Reading.

The operator hasn't put any concrete numbers on how this might affect radio access network (RAN) build-out and other initiatives. But it has said in a statement that updates will involve "tens of thousands of central offices, macro towers, and small cells usually never farther than a few miles from our customers."

That could mean a lot of new infrastructure, albeit on a smaller scale than the hulking cell towers of today.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like