AT&T means business with a 5G trial at Intel

The carrier believes its month-long test will be the first for a business in the U.S.

5G and its multi-gigabit cellular speeds probably won’t hit the market until 2020, but one corporate customer of AT&T is about to taste what it may be like.

AT&T is launching its first customer trial of 5G technologies – the first 5G trial for any business user in the U.S., the carrier believes. But this is no average customer that happened to draw a golden ticket. The trial will take place at an Intel facility in Austin, Texas. It will last about a month, use just one cell site, and cover an area with a radius of approximately 300 meters, AT&T said.

Intel has been aggressively researching technologies for 5G client and network equipment. It’s also notable that the Silicon Valley chip giant is one of the main counterweights to Qualcomm when it comes to supplying the guts of smartphones. The mobile device industry, even including a Goliath like Apple, likes competitors to keep the big players honest.

At Intel, AT&T and network equipment vendor Ericsson want to demonstrate how 5G could speed up business applications like VPNs (virtual private networks) and unified communications, as well as 4K video and regular Internet access. They expect to see speeds that rival those of cable broadband.

AT&T and Ericsson will be testing millimeter-wave wireless, one of the main concepts expected to be part of 5G. These systems can take advantage of wide bands of available frequencies, and new techniques and antenna designs are helping millimeter-wave signals go beyond their traditionally short ranges.

The result should be very high speeds. Some of the small trials that already took place this year showed speeds like 4Gbps (bits per second) for live 4K video streams on Sprint at a soccer game and even 48Gbps on super-high 70GHz frequencies at Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. AT&T, remaining conservative, said the upcoming trial will offer more than 1Gbps, which may be more realistic for multiple people sharing the network at Intel.

The trial will test transmissions in the two bands: 28GHz, one of the frequency ranges that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission opened up for mobile service earlier this year, and 15GHz, another promising band that Sprint used for its 4Gbps test.

High speed is just one of the benefits 5G is expected to bring. It’s also being designed for low latency, for things like fast-reacting autonomous cars, and for connecting to many more tiny devices at low speed. The 5G specification is scheduled for completion in 2019, with commercial deployments starting in 2020.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?