BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — 5G is likely to improve your life even if you don’t binge-watch videos on your smartphone.
The Texas A&M University System on Thursday opened one of the nation’s largest 5G research testbeds on its RELLIS Campus. About 100 industry and government leaders were there to learn how 5G is poised to enhance daily life in countless ways.
A series of demonstrations by experts from Texas A&M and AT&T showed how 5G can help power a wide range of innovations:
Food prices could drop as crop yields grow and costs are trimmed through use of data-gathering drones, deep-learning algorithms and robotic farming practices.
Emergency health care could improve as paramedics at a scene continuously stream and share video and vitals to consult with ER doctors.
Veterinarians could use similar techniques to inform the triage and treatment of livestock and pets after natural disasters.
Businesses could address staffing challenges using immersive, remote forms of augmented-reality training, collaboration and management.
Soldiers and field commanders could gain advantage over adversaries by using lighter, faster, smarter, nimbler and more resilient communication systems.
“And we are just getting started,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “We’ve built RELLIS to tackle the world’s toughest challenges. This giant 5G testbed extends the horizon for university researchers, government and industry.”
The term 5G is shorthand for the fifth generation of wireless network. It is the first generation of wireless to rival wired network quality in reliability, consistency, data capacity, ultra-fast peak speeds and ultra-low latency. (Latency is the time from initiation to completion of an action.)
AT&T worked with RELLIS and the System on the new testbed’s installation. One mile of contiguous area just opened for testing research projects. An additional 1.5 miles will be opened by the end of this year.
Chancellor Sharp christened one of the 5G towers with champagne after speaking at the gathering.
Sarita Rao, AT&T senior vice president for integrated and partner solutions, also spoke.
“Texas A&M is one of the premier research entities in the world, fulfilling its mission across a wide range of industries and public service areas,” Rao said. “AT&T believes it has a key role in innovation, and that requires great relationships. We are excited about the possibilities that can come from working with Texas A&M at this one-of-a-kind 5G testbed.”
The testbed adds to the impressive array of new Texas A&M System research facilities at RELLIS. The 2,300-acre campus features a million square feet of labs and offices. With financial support from the State of Texas, the U.S. Army and others, the System has invested $900 million there since 2016. Key research facilities include the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), the Center for Industrial Renewal (CIR), and the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC).
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $7.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.