AT&T is now working with Nokia to expand our 5G lab trial work. In addition to the 5G trial we are doing in Austin, Texas, we have also begun system and software architecture lab work in Middletown, N.J., Atlanta, Ga. and San Ramon, Calif. Our unique 5G trial approach will ultimately help deliver a cost-effective wireless experience built with software-defined networking (SDN), data analytics, security and open source software to quickly adapt to new consumer and business demands.
“We’ve seen great results in our 5G lab trials, including reaching speeds above 10 gigabits per second in early tests with Ericsson,” said Tom Keathley, senior vice president – wireless network architecture and design, AT&T. “Nokia is joining to help us test millimeter wave (mmWave), which we expect to play a key role in 5G development and deployment. The work coming out of AT&T Labs will pave the way toward future international 5G standards and allow us to deliver these fast 5G speeds and network performance across the U.S.”
5G Labs Progress
In addition to reaching multi-gigabit speeds, our initial 5G lab trials also simulate real-world environment scenarios and strenuous conditions, like increased amounts of data transmission at a given time, similar to what our customers might see at a concert or football game. This lets us test key network advancements, including connectivity signal performance, reliability, range and coverage.
Early latency performance tests have shown positive signs for future consumer experiences, such as self-driving cars. For example, in order for the self-driving car experience to meet future customer expectations, we believe it will be critical to quickly communicate with other connected vehicles and objects while navigating the street. 5G multi-gigabit speeds and very low latency will enable this feat to become a reality in years to come.
By the end of this summer, we expect to conduct outdoor 5G wireless connectivity trials to fixed locations in cities such as Austin, Texas and Middletown, N.J. We’re structuring our 5G trials in such a way that we’re able to contribute to the international 5G standards development and pivot to compliant commercial deployments once standards are set by 3GPP. We expect 3GPP will likely complete the first phase of standards-setting process in 2018. In short, these tests will help set our strategy for future deployment in urban and rural areas to deliver multi-gigabit wireless speeds 10-100 times faster than today’s average 4G LTE wireless connections.
Nokia is supplying test equipment for a variety of 5G technology building blocks and features. We’re working with them to define the features, capabilities and test cases for trials. A variety of 5G technologies are factored into our tests, including sub-6Hz and mmWave spectrum use, low latency, advanced beamforming and very high throughput.
Nokia joins others supporting our 5G trial efforts announced earlier this year.