AT&T Runs More Low-Band Tests in the US

Dan Jones
7/30/2019

AT&T is testing 5G equipment in the 4400MHz to 5000MHz band in Austin, Texas, thanks to an experimental license from the FCC.

The 4400MHz to 5000MHz band is known as the n79 band in the 5G New Radio (NR) specification. It is also part of the C-Band in the US.

The operator is running mobile tests between the beginning of June and the beginning of September this year. AT&T says that tests will operate "within 20 meters radius of base."

"AT&T seeks to further validate system design and operation in the sub-6GHz band for certain applications and use cases such as IAB (Integrated Access and Backhaul), LNC (LTE-NR Coexistence), V2X (Vehicle to vehicle/others), URLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication), mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications), and eMBB (enhanced Mobile BroadBand)," says the operator in its application for the license.

"We wouldn't be able to share info beyond that in the license app," an AT&T spokeswoman told Light Reading.

Why this matters
AT&T is slated to start its rollout of 5G on low-band spectrum next year, probably on the 700MHz band. It is currently running some of its 5G networks in 21 cities on its 39GHz millimeter wave system for businesses and selected developers. Compared with low-band, these millimeter wave networks offer blazing speeds (1 Gbit/s), but lower coverage ranges (1,000 to 2,000 feet).

AT&T is supposed to go nationwide on low-band spectrum in the first half of 2020. The operator is expected to use 700MHz spectrum, alongside its FirstNet 4G 700MHz deployment, but could rely on other frequencies as well. AT&T has also been involved in discussions about using the C-Band, largely in the 3.7GHz to 4.2GHz ranges, for 5G.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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ajwdct
7/31/2019 | 12:26:17 PM
Frequency Bands for IMT 2020 Radio Interface Technologies
The actual frequencies to be used for IMT 2020 radio aspects (ITU-R WP5D) will be determined at WRC-19 in Egypt this fall.  Those will then be listed in a REVISION OF ITU-R Recommendation M.1036-5:  Frequency arrangements for implementation of the terrestrial component of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in the bands identified for IMT in the Radio Regulations (RR). 

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While nothing has been decided yet, ITU-R has proposed some high band frequencies as per  https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/Documents/ITU-R-FAQ-IMT.pdf  From that document:
 
  19. Question: What frequency bands are under study for the implementation of IMT2020 (5G) RIT/SRITs? 
 
The following (high) bands, which are already allocated to mobile, will be studied with a view to an IMT-2020 (5G) identification: • 24.25 – 27.5 GHz • 37 – 40.5 GHz • 42.5 – 43.5 GHz • 45.5 – 47 GHz • 47.2 – 50.2 GHz • 50.4 – 52.6 GHz • 66 – 76 GHz • 81 – 86 GHz The following bands will also be studied, although they are not currently globally allocated to the mobile service: • 31.8 – 33.4 GHz • 40.5 – 42.5 GHz  • 47 – 47.2 GHz
 
The results of the studies will be submitted for decision to the next World Radio Conference (WRC-19), to be held from 28 October to 22 November 2019 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.