AT&T says actual 5G wireless super-fast network will debut later this year

A whole lot of wild breathing

If you got a Nintendo Switch gaming console during the holidays, well, join the club. And it’s a pretty big club! Forbes says Nintendo sold five million Switch units just in the U.S. in the last ten months, making it the fastest selling home video gaming system in U.S. history. Not too shabby for a company many thought had its best days far, far behind it. And we’re not really that surprised: DT voted the Switch as Product of the Year for 2017.

Why? Well, we felt the Switch had literally switched up the gaming industry by making a hybrid console that combined the best aspects of a home-based machine, and then made all that power totally portable – no small feat. That, and the innovative control system, high-quality portable graphics, the ability to play against others wirelessly and so on made Nintendo’s big gamble pay off. Well done Team Mario and Friends.

Making WiFi look slow

Remember when “4G” was the hot cell-service buzzword, and then 4G LTE was even hotter? That’s all about to be old news as AT&T says they’re getting set to roll out a new 5G network that could fundamentally change how we use a cell network. AT&T says the new actual 5G system – not the 5G “Evolution” network – will start operations towards the end of this year, and will enable wireless delivery of 4K video, VR content, and more, including high-speed 5G “business” systems.

That would allow for a more seamless wireless experience, instead of having your phone or PC jump from a 4G or LTE signal to wifi and back again. AT&T also says the 5G rollout will help speed up deployment of driverless cars that will use the system’s low latency to more accurately pilot the new generation of autonomous vehicles. And, of course, AT&T isn’t alone in the 5G game: Verizon says they’ll also get their 5G game on in 2018 while T•Mobile is shooting for a 2020 rollout.

Our bags (and schedules) are packed

Everyone here at DT is going to bed extra early this week so we can rest up for the big event happening next week: CES 2018. The annual festival of tech overload starts on Sunday and we’re already getting product announcements, rumors, leaks and other tidbits about top-secret tech about to be unveiled at the show. DT’s Editor in Chief Jeremy Kaplan has been sifting through his inbox for the best bits and has a preview of what’s going to be super hot this year

Top of the list: The invasion of the smart home assistants into pretty much everything as Alexa, Google Home, Siri (eventually) and some new AI friends find their way into devices ranging from light bulbs to coffee machines to pretty much anything that plugs in or powers up. We call it “touchless computing,” and it’s going to be huge – and pretty much everywhere.

What else is on tap? Get ready to learn some new Chinese brands names as companies like TCL and Huawei push into tech spaces dominated by Japanese and South Korean companies. And here’s one word you already know that’s going to be huge this year: “Wireless.” As in wireless charging, wireless headphones, and wireless connections to… whatever. If it’s got wires, it’s now old tech. Check out Jeremy’s full roster of CES prognostications.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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