• WBST 92.1 FMMuncie
  • WBSB 89.5 FMAnderson
  • WBSW 90.9 FMMarion
  • WBSH 91.1 FMHagerstown / New Castle
Indiana Public Radio, a listener-supported service of Ball State University

AT&T, Purdue University Partner For 5G Research Lab

By Samantha Horton, IPB News | Published on in Business, Education, Technology
AT&T's map of expected 5G coverage in Indianapolis by February 2020. (Provided by AT&T)
AT&T's map of expected 5G coverage in Indianapolis by February 2020. (Provided by AT&T)

Purdue University College of Engineering and AT&T are building a new lab that will expand research into 5G technologies. The collaboration will provide a test bed for entrepreneurs and researchers.

Indianapolis is already a pilot city for telecommunication companies to test 5G wireless networks, but some are hoping to take it a step further.

AT&T Indiana president Bill Soards says the new Purdue Research Lab will increase understanding and development of 5G technology in areas including advanced manufacturing, agricultural technology and more.

“We want researchers, business leaders and entrepreneurs to come to Indianapolis and to try their product, model their idea on these early versions of the network in hopes that some of those ideas will gain traction and grow here in Indiana,” says Soards.

The facility will help develop 5G networks in Indianapolis, across the state and the rest of the country. He says 5G technology is going to be essential to the state’s transformation in the future marketplace.

READ MORE: FCC Commissioner Rolls Out 5G Plan, Limits Local Control

“Here in the Midwest, and especially in Indiana, we have an economy that’s rooted in the physical economy,” says Soards. “Very heavy in manufacturing and agriculture and transportation and all of these industries are ripe for disruption by technology.”

Soards says this is the second partnership of its kind AT&T has with a university. The other is in Florida with the University of Miami. The lab is expected to be completed next spring.

Contact Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.