AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a "1 week operational experimental license" to demo a 28GHz fixed wireless system indoors in Austin, Texas. AT&T wants to show off the fixed system -- with a range of 50 meters -- at the Texas Wireless Summit between October 15-22.
The operator has done much of its testing of early 5G systems in Austin, where it has systems in place at its labs and in the city. It's tapping Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) for the radio access network equipment. (See AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials, AT&T Adds Nokia to 5G Trials and AT&T Wants to Start 5G Tests in Austin.)
AT&T's letter to the FCC states: "Applicant seeks authority to begin conducting these demonstrations to allow for trials before the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G standards are finalized in the 2018-2019 time period."
AT&T will not want to be upstaged by its major rival, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which has already said it could launch 5G services ahead of official 3GPP specifications. (See 3GPP Wants to Complete Initial 5G Radio Spec in June 2018 and Verizon Updates 5G Spec, Could Launch Ahead of 3GPP.)
Meanwhile, one of Verizon's key test partners, Samsung Corp. , is reportedly showing off its 28GHz system near the Californian headquarters of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and the Basking Ridge home of Verizon. Samsung also applied to do tests in Bridgewater and Bernadsville, N.J.
In its application to the FCC, Samsung states that the licenses are intended to offer customers a chance to see the system in action. "We will be operating at low power and within a very limited area of operation," the vendor writes. It expects the demos to last into early next year.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading