AT&T Lab to research 5G use cases, 5G+ available in Houston, TX

AT&T is opening a lab in Plano, Texas, to research 5G use cases with help from Nokia and Ericsson. AT&T says the 5G Innovation Studio will provide a venue for developing next-generation products, such as holographic communications and drone services, and cutting down on their time to market.

The studio is outfitted with AT&T 5G connectivity, using its millimeter wave and sub-6 GHz spectrum. It also boasts standalone 5G core network (5G SA) and edge capabilities, along with network KPIs to enable creation, testing and validation of new 5G experiences.

AT&T VP of 5G Product and Innovation Jay Cary disclosed the Lab in this video. The goal of the Lab is to help bring products to market faster, providing a space where customers can explore and try out tech using advanced network capabilities. Along with current and potential customers, and Ericsson and Nokia, industry players like Microsoft will be involved, as well as smaller companies according to Raj Savoor, VP of Network Analytics and Automation at AT&T (formerly with AT&T Labs in Pleasanton, CA).

“Startups are a big part of the innovation ecosystem, and in fact, one of the first use cases was in collaboration with the drone infrastructure startup, EVA,” Savoor wrote in an email.

“We deployed a test environment representative of our Microsoft Azure Edge Zone with AT&T, which provided a low-latency path between the drone and the compute environment. This allowed much more responsive control over the drone’s flight path and is just one example of what’s possible when you combine 5G with edge computing,” Raj added.

“To really bring to life the unforeseen possibilities of 5G, we’ve partnered with Ericsson and Nokia who are helping us build out the technology and really the environment we need to be able to deliver those end-to-end consumer experiences that are really going to wow you and me when we see them on our phones,” Cary said.


Separately, AT&T’s 5G+ [1.] will be available for customers to experience during Houston Rockets games and other events at the Houston Toyota Center.

First responders in Houston will also gain access to 5G+ on FirstNet®, America’s public safety network.  They will maintain voice communication through always-on priority and preemption on 4G-LTE and the intuitive FirstNet network will determine the best route for data traffic, whether that’s 5G+ or 4G-LTE spectrum.

Note 1.  AT&T’s 5G+ is the version of its 5G that uses millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. A 5G capable device that supports mmWave frequencies is needed to get access. [Note that the mmWave frequencies for IMT/5G have not yet been standardized in ITU-R M.1036 Recommendation.]

AT&T stipulates that it may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy. The move falls in line with AT&T’s strategy of treating existing customers similarly to new ones.

AT&T 5G+ is available in parts of 38 cities and more than 20 venues across the U.S. Learn more about AT&T’s 5G network at and check out AT&T’s 5G coverage in the Houston area and across the Gulf coast of Texas here.



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2 thoughts on “AT&T Lab to research 5G use cases, 5G+ available in Houston, TX

  1. AT&T is giving their customers more ways to experience the sports they’re passionate about by investing in infrastructure to power innovative experiences that more deeply connect fans to the action. As the first to power a 5G stadium experience at AT&T Stadium, we plan to continue giving fans richer sports experiences by deploying 5G+ in 17 venues across the country by the end of 2021 including stadiums, arenas and practice facilities. This will bring our total to 40+ 5G-connected venues.

    As the official 5G wireless network sponsors of the NCAA, NBA, WNBA, and MLS, AT&T will continue building out its footprint to bring interactive experiences and holographic capabilities to fans at games as well as those watching from home, while providing new ways for teams to train and operate.

    Retail: Following AT&T’s 5G+ (mmWave) deployment at the Dallas Discovery District, AT&T is working toward lighting up more than 30 company-owned retail locations with 5G+ by the end of this year. We eventually aim to revolutionize in-store shopping for our customers by demonstrating the power of 5G. From immersive AR experiences to IoT integrations, AT&T’s WarnerMedia content and innovations will help bring 5G to life for customers looking to get closer to the entertainment they love.

    Note that 5G mmWave is an integral part of 5G and not some enhancement like LTE Advanced or LTE Advanced Pro which could be considered 4G+.

  2. AT&T told the FCC it plans to begin adding open RAN-compliant equipment into its network “within the next year.”

    That puts AT&T on roughly the same timeframe as Verizon. Verizon’s SVP Adam Koeppe told Light Reading earlier this year that the operator’s 5G hardware vendors – Ericsson, Samsung and Nokia – will begin supplying open RAN-compliant equipment starting later this year. And he expects that the bulk of their equipment shipments to Verizon will comply with open RAN specifications by next year.

    AT&T told the FCC it expects to implement similar changes into its own network.

    “The challenge for an operator shifting to any open network architecture, including but not limited to O-RAN, will be maintaining network reliability, integrity and performance for customers during the transition,” the operator wrote in a filing. “For our part, AT&T serves multiple customer groups, with varied and often complex, service requirements. As we introduce O-RAN into our network, our goal will be maintaining the same high level of performance at scale. We are actively working in this direction.”

    AT&T to FCC: Promoting the Deployment of 5G Open Radio ) Access Networks – GN Docket No. 21-63

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