AT&T 5G Tests Go Gaga for Gigabit

AT&T has released some speed and range data from its 5G tests ahead of a planned initial commercial service launch at the end of this year.

"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.

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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

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kq4ym 4/23/2018 | 12:12:28 PM
Re: Mobile 5G Interesting to read that one city had a range of about a football field while the second city had a range of about three times that. I wonder what geography or obstacles led to the differing distances. And will antenna design in comiing months improve on the consistency and range?
angelsong 4/18/2018 | 12:31:05 PM
the first commercial 5G operator Will AT&T be the first commercial 5G operator?
kumuer 4/17/2018 | 6:03:43 AM
Re: Distance? ///
DanJones 4/11/2018 | 3:29:54 PM
Re: Distance? And 100 meters to 200 meters for mobile 5G but more on that later.
DanJones 4/11/2018 | 3:28:14 PM
Re: Mobile 5G They said 3GPP-based mobile 5G with a "mobile puck" as 1st device.
mendyk 4/11/2018 | 2:51:11 PM
Re: Distance? Yes, but Dan Jones is from a place where they drive on the opposite side of the road. So maybe he was schooled to go from higher to lower. Or maybe something something else. Cubits also can be problematic, because there are regular cubits and long cubits, which are slightly longer than regular cubits. You'd think something as precise as arithmetic and measurements would have been figured out by now.
[email protected] 4/11/2018 | 2:44:15 PM
Re: Distance? My comment was because the way the article was written, it implied that 900 feet was the lower bound of achievable distance and 150 meters was the upper bound.  Mixing units of the same variable should always be avoided.

It should have read "500-900 feet" or "150-275 meters".

(or, for Mendyk, "180-600 cubits")
Duh! 4/11/2018 | 2:25:58 PM
Re: Distance? That was the only interesting tidbit.

The consensus of researchers seems to be intersite distance (ISD) of 100-200 M for mm-wave fixed broadband. 150 and 275m, respectively, aren't unreasonable, given what little they've disclosed about these experiments.  

mendyk 4/11/2018 | 1:58:21 PM
Re: Distance? Yes -- it's about 275 cubits less.
[email protected] 4/11/2018 | 1:48:12 PM
Distance? Isn't 150 meters far less than 900 feet?
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