AT&T has completed a lab test of streaming broadband fixed-wireless signals of its DIRECTV Now (Internet TV streaming service) over 39 GHz millimeter wave airwaves using Nokia’s AirScale technology. The test, which Nokia termed a global first, showed how high-frequency spectrum can support over-the-top service delivery. The trial was conducted at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, N.J.
“With this trial, we’re doing something that no other operator has done – regionally or globally,” Tom Keathley, SVP of wireless network architecture and design at AT&T, said in a statement. “We expect 39 GHz to be an important 5G band in the United States, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Nokia to further advance 5G technology in this band.”
AT&T has stated plans to trial 5G services using the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands, with the former offering better propagation characteristics, while the latter has more available resources. The carrier is set to pick up control of 39 GHz spectrum through its recently announced purchase of FiberTower.
AT&T earlier this year announced plans with Ericsson and Qualcomm to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air trials based on what they expect to be 5G technical specifications and using millimeter wave spectrum bands. The companies said the tests will tap spectrum in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands in an effort to bolster their expectations for the 5G “New Radio” specifications being worked on by the Third Generation Partnership Project as part of the expected LTE Release 15 standard.
Both bands are also included in the Federal Communications Commission’s Spectrum Frontiers proceedings, which has the federal government looking to open up nearly 11 gigahertz of spectrum above the 24 GHz band in support of mobile telecom services. The 28 GHz band has been receiving more attention from operators, with Verizon Communications, Sprint, T-Mobile US, C Spire and U.S. Cellular all announcing use of the band for 5G network trials.
Read more at: