May 19, 2016
AT&T is now expecting to start mobile 5G tests in 2017.
Scott Mair, SVP of technology planning and engineering for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), speaking at the Jefferies 2016 Technology Conference last week, reiterated that the operator is planning 15GHz fixed wireless tests in Austin, Texas, this summer. This will be followed at the end of 2016 by 28GHz fixed 5G tests. (See AT&T 5G Trials to Start With Fixed 15GHz Tests and AT&T Will Do More 5G Tests in N.J.)
"In early '17 we'll be rotating into that mobility use case," Mair said. "We expect that we'll be doing some field deployment ... with pre-standards equipment by late '17."
Major rival Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is working on at least eight 5G test sites in the US. Big Red is planning a fixed 5G pilot sometime in 2017. (See Verizon Hits 1-Gig+ in 5G Trials, Eyes Early Applications andVerizon Will Pilot 5G Fixed Wireless in 2017.)
"We haven't been sitting still on 5G, we've been doing a lot of work in the labs ourselves," Mair says.