US telecoms giant AT&T Communications has notched up what it describes as ‘the world’s first enhanced Common Public Radio Interface (eCPRI) connection for millimetre wave (mmWave)’ at its 5G Labs in Redmond, Washington. The calls were made using systems from both Nokia and Samsung Electronics America, with Gordon Mansfield, VP of Converged Access and Device Design, explaining: ‘This opens the door for higher network throughput with less fibre, which will create more efficient mmWave deployments, among other benefits … Some cell phone users probably haven’t heard of the CPRI, but it’s used by carriers today to provide the connection between the radio and the base station which is often referred to as “fronthaul” … eCPRI is an enhancement of that technology.’
TeleGeography notes that AT&T launched its mmWave-powered 5G service in twelve cities in December 2018. Last month, New York City became the telco’s 21st 5G-supported city. Going forward, AT&T says it will launch 5G using sub-6GHz frequencies in the coming months, with a view to offering nationwide 5G in the first half of 2020.