Recently, AT&T conducted a series of trials in using 5G network to stream its DirecTV Now service. Collaborating with the multinational communications company Nokia, AT&T conducted the trials at its Labs Facility in New Jersey using the millimeter wave spectrum in the 39 GHz band.
According to the claims of Nokia, the test was the “world’s first by delivering a 39 GHz system based on its commercially available AirScale radio access platform.” Both the companies stated that the trials were a demonstration of the ability of 5G platforms in supporting low network latency and high throughput services.
AT&T has earlier announced about conducting field trials in and lab tests in Austin, Texas. Tom Keathley, SVP for Wireless Network Architecture and Design at AT&T, said that, “With this trial, we’re doing something that no other operator has done – regionally or globally. 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 technologies in this band.”
“The work coming out of AT&T Labs will provide valuable contributions to future 5G standards, and allow us to pave the way for delivering significantly faster speeds and a better overall network experience for our customers across the US,” Keathley added. Reports say that the carrier is planning to begin trials of 5G services using the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands.
The offering of the services of the two companies in pooling up the necessary resources and other characteristics has contributed highly to these experimental trials. AT&T’s recent acquisition of FiberTower has enabled them to set up the access to the 39 GHz spectrum. Previously, the carrier has done many trials combined with Swedish telecomm giant Ericsson and Qualcomm using the millimeter wave spectrum bands.
The spectrum of 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands included in the tests is an effort to bolster the newly developing Third Generation Partnership Project in the expected LTE Release 15 standard. This could benefit AT&T and other internet providers in giving out cheap internet plans to their subscribers.
Note that FCC’s Spectrum Frontiers proceedings include both these bands. The federal government is also considering up to 11 GHz of spectrum above 24 GHz band for supporting mobile telecom services. Many operators like Verizon, T-Mobile, and C Spire Wireless are also considering the use of this band for 5G network trials.