Wednesday, July 5, 2017

AT&T partners with Ericsson for 5G trial of DIRECTV NOW in Austin

AT&T, which last year completed what it claimed to be the first fixed wireless 5G business customer trial in Austin, has announced the launch of a second trial involving the use of millimetre wave (mmWave) technology to deliver high speed 5G network services to more locations in Austin, Texas.

AT&T's second trial is designed to provide an ultra-fast Internet connection to residential, small business and enterprise locations utilising Ericsson's 5G RAN and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform. Trial participants will be able to stream premium live TV via DIRECTV NOW and access faster broadband services over a fixed wireless 5G connection.

AT&T believes that the trial will provide speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s using mmWave spectrum. It noted that earlier this year it successfully delivered DIRECTV NOW utilising mmWave technology at its Middletown lab in New Jersey, which was claimed to be the first time DIRECTV NOW had been delivered over a 5G connection.

The latest trial covers a variety of customers, such as residential, small business and enterprise, and by using DIRECTV NOW and other applications AT&T is seeking to gain further insights into mmWave performance characteristics and better understand the need for standards development.

The fixed wireless 5G trial in Austin is due to last for several months. AT&T will also continue 5G testing using its network testbeds. At the same time, the company will continue its research into the role of software-defined networks and experimenting with advanced virtualised-RAN core network capabilities during the year.


The operator stated that data traffic on its mobile network has increased by more than 250,000% since 2007, with video now constituting more than half of mobile data traffic. In addition, video traffic has risen by over 75% and smartphones were responsible for nearly 75% of data traffic carried in 2016.


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