AT&T has requested a Special Temporary Authorisation (STA) from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with a view to conducting testing in the 24GHz band to ‘calibrate its propagation models for deployment of fifth generation (5G) mobile networks’. The regulatory filing in question (dated 27 August) was discovered by Fierce Wireless.
The telco’s subsidiary, AT&T Spectrum Frontiers, was the winning bidder for 831 licences covering 383 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) in the FCC’s Auction 102 process earlier this year. In a regulatory filing, AT&T explains: ‘AT&T intends to roll out 5G services on 24GHz as soon as practicable and is seeking this STA to facilitate its rapid planned deployment. Although AT&T has developed network planning models for 24GHz, the band is new, and the propagation models will need to be tuned for specific combinations of terrain and clutter/land use.’
TeleGeography notes that AT&T paid USD982.5 million for spectrum licences covering more than 98% of the US population in May this year. All of the licences won were in the upper 500MHz portion of the 24GHz band, which it says will give it stronger nationwide coverage and additional spectrum depth and capacity in large markets where demand is often greatest.