AT&T wants to give its 5G customers more freedom than ever before

5G Ultra Wideband
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

AT&T has announced its plans to expand its 5G network in an effort to allow customers in the US to roam off of private networks while still remaining connected to its public mobile network.

The telecom is collaborating with Microsoft and using Azure private MEC to deploy private wireless networks across a range of radio spectrums including CBRS as part of its new AT&T Private 5G Edge offering.

Essentially AT&T Private 5G Edge will bring private 4G/5G wireless networks as an integrated platform with connectivity and applications to enable low-latency services at the edge. This will allow businesses to make their private networks simpler, more flexible and easier to use.

VP of product strategy and innovation at AT&T Business, Rupesh Chokshi provided further details on how combining 5G with edge computing can benefit businesses of all size in a press release, saying:

“This solution opens the door to entirely new applications and use cases we haven’t even imagined yet. The combination of 5G and edge compute can utterly transform how businesses are run, no matter the size, and we’re proactively engaging with those businesses to identify the right compelling opportunities. Our collaboration with Microsoft is exciting because it combines technology with an adaptable business model and brings innovation to life – for any customer.”

AT&T Private 5G Edge

Although AT&T Private 5G Edge is still in the early stages, once complete, it will provide connectivity and embedded applications through a single, integrated platform by using CBRS spectrum and/or AT&T spectrum. The mobile carrier is also currently in talks with customers across a number of verticals to figure out how this new technology can be applied. 

In the manufacturing sector for instance, cameras and AI tools can assist in everything from robotic assembly to “event detection” like when a worker is injured or a fire has started and first responders can be alerted almost instantly. Meanwhile, car dealerships will be able to create a dedicated cellular network that can be used to help buyers manage the setup process for vehicle diagnostics and other connected features as opposed to having to rely on their own wireless network.

Still though, moving from Wi-Fi to dedicated and secure 5G connections with edge computing capabilities opens up all kinds of new possibilities in retail stores, manufacturing plants, restaurants, schools and more. AT&T Private 5G Edge will enable IoT capabilities for businesses without the need for complex setup or taking up additional floor space.

Businesses interested in participating in a preview of AT&T Private 5G Edge can request to do so here and we'll likely find out more once the mobile carrier begins deploying its private 5G networks.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.