AT&T is going ahead with 5G tests this year but it won't initially be able to test all the frequencies it might want to use.
This is because AT&T doesn't have all the compatible equipment yet to test across the multiple radio bands it wants to, the exec explains. AT&T has so far revealed that it is working with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) on 5G test equipment. Ericsson is known to be using 15GHz for at least some of its 5G test-bed. (See AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials.)
AT&T's request for a radio test license asks to test 5G in the 3.5GHz, 4GHz, 15GHz and 28GHz bands. It states that Ma Bell wants to be able to do mobile trials within 5 km of the basestation.
I recently asked an AT&T representative if the test license has been granted yet, and it hadn't at that time. I've reached out to AT&T again to double-check the status now. (See AT&T Wants to Start 5G Tests in Austin.)
For the meantime, however, like Verizon Wireless , AT&T appears to be looking at fixed tests to begin with. Of course, these are the earliest -- some might say immature -- field tests of this new mobile tech in the US, so things are likely to change over time.
Verizon said Thursday that it expects to start a fixed wireless 5G pilot, or beta, sometime in 2017. (See Verizon Hits 1-Gig+ in 5G Trials, Eyes Early Applications.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading