AT&T to Test 5G Wireless
AT&T has reached speeds of up to 14 gigabits a second in lab trials of 5G wireless technology, and plans to test the high-speed network by beaming its DirecTV Now video service to homes in Austin, Texas before midyear, according to Bloomberg.
Through a collaboration with a dozen partners including Intel, Ericsson and Qualcomm, AT&T plans to use experimental airwaves to test fifth-generation or 5G residential and business services as a potentially cheaper method than fiber-optic cable for high-capacity connections, said John Donovan, AT&T’s chief strategy officer. AT&T announced its 5G plans at CES in Las Vegas.
Eager to keep pace with Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T is in a race to develop new 5G services and drum up revenue in the emerging field as its wireless and TV subscription businesses face increased competition. Donovan said he expects AT&T to offer the first commercial so-called point-to-point 5G service in 2018. The first mobile 5G service should be commercially available in 2019, he said.