AT&T expands fixed wireless 5G trials to 3 cities

James Marshall
August 30, 2017

AT&T (NYSE:T) announced that it will be rolling out tests of its latest wireless carrier technology - 5G - in three new US cities.

The company has been testing in Austin, and will extend those to Waco, Texas; Kalamazoo, Mich.; and South Bend, Ind.

Still, AT&T and Verizon have been buying millimeter wave spectrum in preparation for fixed wireless and recently got into a bidding war over an asset. Fixed 5G services from AT&T and Verizon should contribute significantly to service revenues of $1 billion by 2019, according to recent market research.

Rival wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc. has said it is conducting pre-commercial trials for fixed wireless in 11 cities and that it expects a 2018 launch. These are of course managed trials to a very limited numbers of end users. AT&T is planning to open trial sign-ups to big business customers, but also small businesses, universities, and churches. "Taking our fixed wireless 5G trials out of the lab and into the real world helps us learn important factors about mmWave and 5G". "We streamed DIRECTV NOW, 360 video, and worldwide videoconferencing - demonstrating how people can live, work, and play in a connected home of the future". According to Reuters, for those specific cities, AT&T plans to have more trial participants, which could include small businesses, colleges and churches.

Other partners in AT&T's trials include Intel, Nokia and Samsung. Ericsson will provide 28 GHz radios, a virtualized RAN, and a 5G virtualized core. In contrast, AT&T points to the previous wireless generation of 4G, where LTE equipment was not available for 12 - 18 months after completion of the standard.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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