AT&T has launched what it claims is the first 5G business customer trial in the US, using millimeter wave (mmWave) technology to power a 5G network at Intel’s offices in Austin, Texas. AT&T’s release says that after working with Ericsson to conduct its first public 5G demo – featuring streaming 4K HD video, real-time camera feeds and data speeds approaching 14Gbps – the operator is now launching field trials of the 5G technology developed with Ericsson ‘to explore what benefits it can provide a real-world business customer’. Rick Hubbard, senior vice president of networking product management, AT&T, said: ‘This trial is a significant step forward. We’re leaving the lab and heading into the field with a real-world business customer. We expect mmWave technology to be an important part of 5G.’ During the trial, 1Gbps-plus bandwidth will be utilised to test multiple enterprise proof-of-concept use cases, including internet access, VPN, Unified Communications applications and 4K video streams. The trial will showcase the potential of 5G VoIP over the 15GHz and 28GHz spectrum bands.
Tom Keathley, senior vice president of wireless network architecture and design, AT&T, added: ‘The future of video is mobile. And the future of mobile is video. Mobile video streaming continues to be a vital aspect of our 5G work, and this trial gives us an opportunity to test 4K HD video streaming across further physical distances between pieces of equipment. With our 5G and 4G LTE advancements, we expect speeds rivaling what we see from cable providers. Our path to 5G will help make this vision a reality faster.’ Thomas Noren, head of Ericsson’s Network Products division, chipped in: ‘This trial takes us a step closer to 5G commercialisation, validating the feasibility of outdoor-to-indoor mmWave coverage for business customers.’