5G and Beyond

AT&T & Ericsson Stream 5G in Austin

AT&T says it has now started its second fixed wireless high-band 5G test in Austin, Texas -- with equipment from Ericsson and Intel -- streaming DIRECTV to selected consumers, small businesses and enterprises in the area.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) says it wants to offer a gigabit connection using millimeter wave (mmWave), though the operator didn't specify if this is at 28GHz or 39GHz. Ma Bell is using radio area network (RAN) equipment from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and mmWave chipsets from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)

AT&T revealed some more details in a statement:

    Our fixed wireless 5G trial will last several months, but our work in Austin won't stop. We'll continue advancing 5G in our testbeds. And we plan to delve further into the role of software-defined networks. We'll experiment with new virtualized-RAN core network capabilities later this year.

Scott Mair, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s senior vice president of technology, planning and engineering, said last week that the new Austin test would be aimed at really testing the overall performance of the 5G network. He said that AT&T's first commercial 5G services could arrive as early as late 2018. (See AT&T Expects 5G in Late 2018 or Early '19.)

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AT&T undertook similar 5G field and lab tests with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) last year and into 2017. (See AT&T Lab Tests DirecTV Now Over 5G.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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