AT&T Plans to Offer 5G Mobile Internet

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. subscriber / səbˈskraɪ bər / (n) – a person who signs up or pays for a particular service

    The new Internet service provider already has a lot of subscribers because of its low payment plans.

  2. postpaid / ˈpoʊstˈpeɪd / (adj) – describes something paid for after it is received

    He got a penalty after he forgot to pay his postpaid phone bill last month.

  3. lag / læg / (n) – a delay

    The frequent lags in the live broadcast was because of her slow Internet connection.

  4. buffer time / ˈbʌf ər taɪm / (n) – the amount of time that something needs before it starts

    Long videos require a lot of buffer time.

  5. stream / ˈstrim / (v) – to use Internet technology to make a computer application run

    The boy likes to stream live basketball games on his computer.


Read the text below.

Due to tight competition with other companies in the United States, mobile service provider AT&T has announced plans to offer 5G mobile Internet.

AT&T’s move to soon offer fifth-generation mobile Internet, or simply 5G, is a result of their recent market losses. As of March 2017, the company has reportedly lost 191,000 subscribers to other mobile service providers that offer new unlimited data plans. As a countermeasure, AT&T lowered the price of their postpaid plans and invested in new and better technology, including 5G.

AT&T’s 5G technology will bring high-speed wireless Internet to the public. It is predicted to have a speed of 1Gbps, which is twice the speed of the current 4G. This kind of Internet speed can maximize mobile entertainment, as it will reduce lag for games and buffer time for videos. It can also support complicated phone applications. These advantages prompted several other electronic companies to support AT&T by investing in the research and development of 5G.

In preparation for the launch of their new high-tech service, AT&T plans to conduct trials in the city of Austin, Texas. Using 5G mobile Internet, participants from the residential areas will stream videos to test its speed, while participants from the business sector will conduct conference calls in addition to streaming videos.

According to AT&T’s records, customers mostly use their mobile data to stream videos. This has greatly contributed to the 250,000% estimated increase in the company’s overall data usage since 2007.  Usage is expected to rise further with the launch of 5G technology, which will be available to the public by 2020.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think AT&T’s 5G technology will attract customers? Why or why not?
• Would you be willing to pay a large sum of money for 5G mobile Internet? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What could be the disadvantages of having 5G mobile Internet?
• Do you think access to mobile Internet is now a necessity? Why or why not?