AT&T and Nokia to expand 5G lab trials

06 June 2016 |

AT&T is presently collaborating with Nokia to expand its 5G lab trials aimed at delivering a cost-effective mobile experience built with software-defined networking (SDN), data analytics, security and open source software.

"Nokia is joining to help us test millimeter wave (mmWave), which we expect to play a key role in 5G development and deployment,” said Tom Keathley, SVP of wireless network architecture and design at AT&T. 

In addition to the existing 5G trial in Austin, Texas, AT&T has also begun system and software architecture lab work in New Jersey, Georgia and California.

The operator is said to have achieved speeds above 10Gbps in early tests with Ericsson, according to Keathley. Its initial 5G lab trials simulate real-world environment scenarios, such as increased amounts of data transmission at a given time during concerts and football games. Doing so enables the operator to test key network advancements including connectivity signal performance, reliability, range and coverage.

By August 2016, AT&T plans to conduct outdoor 5G mobile connectivity trials in cities such as Austin, Texas and Middletown, New Jersey. 

“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,” said the company. It expects 3GPP to complete the first phase of standards-setting process in 2018.