"We're confident we have all the answers we need to deploy a mobile 5G network that works for people all over the country," Melissa Arnoldi, president of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) technology & operations, wrote in a company blog, entitled Ready to Launch: How 2 Years of 5G Trials is Preparing Us for Commercial Deployment this week.
Arnoldi lays out selected results from fixed 5G tests from AT&T trials so far. The common factor across all the trials is that they delivered 1 Gbit/s over high-band millimeter wave (mmWave) connections.
In Waco, Texas, AT&T says it "provided 5G mmWave service to a retail location more than 150 meters away from the cell site and observed wireless speeds of approximately 1.2 Gbps in a 400 MHz channel."
While in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the operator "observed more than 1 Gbps speeds under line of sight conditions up to 900 feet," yet seeing "no impacts on 5G mmWave signal performance due to rain, snow or other weather events." Millimeter wave connections are noted to suffer signal attenuation due to some weather conditions, or when penetrating foliage or certain building materials. (See Nokia Bell Labs & Verizon Stretch Fixed 5G to the Home.)
As usual, however, the trade-off for high-band gigabit downloads is limited coverage range. Note that AT&T lists fixed wireless 5G ranges between 900 feet and 150 meters.
AT&T is planning to launch a dozen mobile 5G commercial markets in the US towards the end of 2018. The operator has just been granted FCC licenses to hold 28GHz mobile tests in Burbank, Calif. and Dallas, Texas. (See AT&T Reveals Initial 5G Cities.)
For the latest on US operators' 5G plans, click here: 5G in the USA: A Post-MWC Update.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading