Intel is looking to conduct indoor tests using 2594-2614 MHz spectrum at its facilities in Santa Clara, California, and its Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Intel submitted its application for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to the FCC, where it explained that it has received authorization from Sprint to use their spectrum for the tests. However, the company said it will not connect to Sprint's network.
The sparsely worded application (PDF) – it’s rare for a company to reveal much via an STA application – said all the testing will be done indoors on an Intel campus. Over-the-air testing is required to validate the designs, characterize propagation impact and verify overall performances, the application stated.
Experimental equipment from a variety of vendors will be part of the tests, including Intel, Huawei, National Instruments, Keysight, Agilent and Rhode & Schwartz. The proposed start date of the tests is Aug. 15, concluding Dec. 31.
Sprint has extensive spectrum holdings in 2.5 GHz spectrum and has said its 2.5 GHz spectrum is at the low end of the type of spectrum that will be deployed for 5G.
In June, Sprint designated itself as the first U.S. carrier to demonstrate elements of 5G at a large-scale public event when it produced a demo at the Copa America Centenario outside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. At the time, Sprint CTO John Saw noted that Sprint has significantly more 5G-capable spectrum than any other carriers and a long history deploying multiple high spectrum bands for backhaul, including at 11 GHz, 18 GHz, 23 GHz, 28 GHz and even 80 GHz.
Of course, Intel is also part of Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum, which kicked off last year with Nokia, then-Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Samsung. Intel later joined, saying it was developing 5G technology at its 5G testbeds in Oregon and California that would also be used to contribute to Verizon's 5G sandbox test environments.
Intel is part of AT&T’s 5G network technology tests as well. AT&T and Verizon both have linked their 5G plans with network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), areas where Intel also is heavily involved.
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