AT&T Expects Gigabit Speed at Some Cell Sites in 2017
AT&T 5G Evolution plans for 2017 include an upgrade to 1 Gbps speeds on at least some cell sites on the 4G network. T-Mobile US and Sprint also are touting such speeds on their own 4G networks.
As always, such speeds are possible when carriers use more bandwidth and aggregate channels. AT&T currently is deploying three-way carrier aggregation in select areas, and plan to introduce four-way carrier aggregation as well as LTE-License Assisted Access (LAA) this year.
In the first half of 2017, AT&T also will conduct a trial in Austin where residential customers can stream DirecTV Now video service over a fixed wireless 5G connection.
AT&T says it also has activated its first 5G business customer trial, working with Intel and Ericsson using millimeter wave spectrum, significantly using unlicensed spectrum.
AT&T also announced plans to team up with Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson for mobile and fixed wireless trials in the second half of 2017, using the 5G New Radio specification being developed by the industry technology standards group 3GPP.
Those trials will test both mobile and fixed wireless solutions operating in millimeter wave spectrum in the 28 Ghz and 39 Ghz bands.
AT&T lab trials already are achieving speeds up to 14 Gbps over a wireless connection. The company says, with latency less than 3 milliseconds.
Separately, AT&T says its fiber to the home network has been deployed to four million locations across 46 metros nationwide. More than 650,000 of these locations include apartments and condo units.
By mid-2019 AT&T plans to reach at least 12.5 million locations across 67 metro areas.
AT&T also is testing fixed wireless point-to-point millimeter wave and G.fast technologies, and expects to have deployed more than 400,000 active fixed wireless links by the end of 2017.
By the end of 2020, AT&T plans to reach 1.1 million rural locations using fixed wireless.
The company also is working on Project AirGig, an access platform that operates near, but not over, power lines.