5G and Beyond

AT&T Adds 3 New 5G Test Cities

AT&T says it is adding three new 5G fixed wireless trial cities in the US by the end of this year, bringing its test sites to five in total.

The operator says that will hold "residential and business" fixed wireless tests in Waco, Texas; Kalamazoo, Mich.; and South Bend, Ind. by the end of 2017. The operator has so far mainly held 5G tests in Austin, Texas. (See AT&T Lab Tests DirecTV Now Over 5G and AT&T & Ericsson Stream 5G in Austin.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is working with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Samsung Corp. on tests. It has been using high-band 28GHz and 39GHz frequencies so far for its fixed tests. (See AT&T Buys FiberTower for 5G Spectrum.)

"In Austin, we see all types of weather and substantial foliage," said Marachel Knight, senior vice president for wireless network architecture and design at AT&T, in a statement. "Taking our fixed wireless 5G trials out of the lab and into the real world helps us learn important factors about mmWave and 5G. And in doing so, we're learning how to better design our network for the future."

In the Texan capital, AT&T tested fixed 5G connections -- handling multiple applications and streams -- in a residential apartment. They also set up Internet connections over 5G in the Arbor Car Wash & Lube Center.

"No one else can claim they trialed the first 5G-enabled car wash," said owner Dave Swensen.

AT&T intends to expand the size of the physical sites and number of participants in the forthcoming fixed trials. The tests could include universities, hospitals, churches, restaurants and other small businesses.

AT&T is expecting to launch its initial 5G service as early as late 2018.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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