Even before the current next-generation infrastructure is anywhere near complete, work is apace to roll out 5G networks, and the latest project sees Nokia and AT&T in a trial for the latter’s TV provider DIRECTV NOW.
The US comms giant and Finnish technology provider are collaborating to further advance 5G technology in the 39 GHz band by recently completing fixed wireless 5G tests based on the commercially available AirScale radio access platform intended for the online TV streaming service for which AT&T has high hopes.
The test demonstrates how new services can be successfully delivered with new technologies operating at high frequencies. AT&T regards both the 39 GHz band and the 28 GHz band as particularly attractive due to the large bandwidth available, with the former having significantly more, making it a strong candidate to support 5G deployments. Nokia began testing mmWave technology with AT&T in 2016 and for its recent tests of DIRECTV NOW over 39 GHz, Nokia delivered a 5G radio access system, conducting the trial at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, New Jersey.
AT&T revealed that the results from this world’s first such trial will help advance the viability of 39 GHz, which it expects to play a key role in 5G development and deployment. It says that the testing of DIRECTV NOW also demonstrates 5G’s promise of providing new experiences to end users with its ultra-low network latency and higher throughput.
“With this trial, we’re doing something that no other operator has done – regionally or globally,” explained AT&T senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design Tom Keathley.
“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 technology 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.”