AT&T to Test “5G” via DIRECTV Now in Austin, TX

In the continuing saga of pre-standard “5G” trials, AT&T has begun field trials of its “5G” based fixed wireless system in Austin, TX using its DIRECTV Now streaming-video service.  That’s the mega telco’s second commercial trial of gigabit millimeter-wave spectrum technology. Its first “5G” millimeter-wave trial in 2016 was also in Austin.

Earlier this year, AT&T and Nokia combined on a lab test of 5G fixed-wireless streaming of DirecTV Now over a 39-GHz system that was conducted at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, NJ.

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AT&T is using Ericsson’s “5G” RAN and Intel’s “5G” Mobile Trial Platform and says it plans to incorporate software-defined networks in other “5G” efforts this year.

AT&T said it expects the trial in Austin will deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps using mmWave spectrum.

The latest Austin trial represents a “major step on our journey to deliver state-of-the-art 5G wireless speeds as early as late 2018,” according to an AT&T press release, which also stated:

“We expect 5G to take people and businesses places they’ve never been with all new experiences thanks to the advantages of enhanced mobile broadband, critical IoT solutions and low latency applications.

Lower latency will play a powerful role in the connected experience. It impacts things like the time between clicking a web link and seeing a webpage begin to load on your device. Through this trial, participants will be able to see the real-life, daily benefits that fixed wireless 5G offers them directly or to their customers.”

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“The technology behind 5G is important. But it’s also about advancing social trends like mobile video streaming,” said Marachel Knight, AT&T senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design.

“In Austin, we’re testing DirecTV NOW over ultra-fast internet speeds at a variety of locations,” Knight said. “The network of the future will help redefine what connectivity means to both consumers and businesses. This trial helps show that the new reality is coming fast.”

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/att-launches-5g-trial-with-directv-now-in-austin-300479656.html

http://www.multichannel.com/news/content/att-kicks-5g-powered-directv-now-trial/413707

 

One thought on “AT&T to Test “5G” via DIRECTV Now in Austin, TX

  1. The trial will make use of Ericsson’s 5G RAN and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform, with the team aiming participants will be able to stream premium live TV via DirecTV Now, all over a fixed wireless 5G signal. This trial follows up a previous one in Intel’s Austen office, where the trio tested the potential of 5G VoIP over the 15 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum bands, amongst other areas.

    “The technology behind 5G is important. But it’s also about advancing social trends like mobile video streaming,” said Marachel Knight, SVP of Wireless Network Architecture and Design at AT&T.

    “In Austin, we’re testing DirecTV Now over ultra-fast internet speeds at a variety of locations. The network of the future will help redefine what connectivity means to both consumers and businesses. This trial helps show that the new reality is coming fast.”

    The success seemingly can’t come soon enough either. AT&T claims mobile traffic on its network has grown more than 250,000% since 2007, with video now taking up more than half of the total traffic. In fact, video traffic grew over 75% and smartphones drove almost 75% of data traffic in 2016. Those are some pretty significant numbers.

    While this trial will last a couple of months, work elsewhere will obviously not stop. This also includes the teams investigation into the role of software-defined networks, an area of the telco world which has seemingly gone quiet recently. Part of this work will look into an experiment with new virtualized-RAN core network capabilities.

    If 5G is the first evolution to be ‘born in the cloud’, there is still a lot of work to be done on the virtualization front. Earlier this month, AT&T claimed to have 34% of network functions already software defined, though the team anticipate this number will be closer to 55% by the end of the year. One of the larger ambitions is to have 75% of traffic on its software-defined network by 2020.

    If the demands of customers, or the potential of cloud-centric applications are to be met, just having chips, devices and equipment won’t be enough; a software-defined network will be critical. Perhaps it’s nice to see that there are still some operators out there who are happy to talk about the less sexy side of the flirtatious telecommunications industry.

    http://telecoms.com/482967/att-goes-big-on-another-fixed-wireless-5g-trial/

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