Verizon, AT&T Continue Testing of Millimeter Wave Propagation for 5G

Verizon has started offering fixed 5G wireless services in eight of its planned 11 test markets to certain customers August 21, 2017

NEW YORK — Verizon Wireless filed an application with the FCC for an STA to conduct tests using prototype millimeter wave equipment from Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and Nokia, according to fiercewireless.com.

Earlier this year Verizon was granted permission to conduct tests in Euless, Texas, and South Plainfield, N.J., using 28 GHz prototype equipment from said vendors. That authority expires August 19, and this latest application is due to become effective on Aug. 20 and last until Feb. 20, 2018.

The 28 GHz band has become of particular interest for 5G use. Verizon is gaining access to 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum because of its acquisition of XO Communications and its proposed acquisition of Straight Path Communications. And although transmissions in the higher bands “won’t travel anywhere near as far as transmissions in lower bands like 600 MHz and 700 MHz,” according to the same article “they do promise to allow carriers to provide much higher speeds and far greater capacity, albeit in smaller coverage areas.”

Verizon has started offering fixed 5G wireless services in eight of its planned 11 test markets to certain customers, testing signal propagation and whether or not customers can successfully install their own receiver antenna, and whether that antenna should be on the outside or inside of a customer’s window.

At almost the same time, AT&T Services also filed an application for an STA to conduct 5G tests using equipment from multiple vendors at one of its facilities in Dallas, also according to fiercewireless.

Its 28 GHz band demonstrations will involve communications with fixed base stations placed indoors at 208 S. Akard Street in Dallas, according to the application. The building has concrete walls and windows with coated glass, which are typical indoor obstacles for wireless communications. AT&T says the 5G wireless link will be established between the base station and mobile end user equipment located in the same room or space as the base station at a distance of “about 10 meters” according to the same article. 

AT&T offers its 5G Evolution service in parts of Austin, Texas, and Indianapolis, and announced plans for Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tenn.; and San Francisco. In a recent test in San Francisco, the company saw speeds of 750 megabits per second, on the unloaded network.

 

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