AT&T applies for 6-month STA to test 28 GHz 5G in Dallas

AT&T Dallas (AT&T)
Demonstrations are planned inside a building with concrete walls and windows with coated glass. (AT&T)

AT&T Services has filed an application for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to conduct 5G tests using equipment from multiple vendors at one of its facilities in Dallas.

Operating in the 28 GHz band, the demonstrations will involve communications between fixed base stations placed indoors in a room or open space inside a building at 208 S. Akard Street in Dallas, according to the application. The building has concrete walls and windows with coated glass—typical indoor obstacles for wireless. 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.

The base station will have connectivity to an ISP providing Gbps internet access for the purpose of the 5G demos using various applications and web servers, the company explained. The end user devices will be capable of providing services to various devices through Wi-Fi access points connected to the devices using Ethernet cable.

“The demonstrations using this STA will provide valuable information to potential users whose feedback on the perceived performance of services provided through these 5G systems will also enable future standards and system optimizations,” AT&T said. The proposed duration of the STA is September 1, 2017, until March 1, 2018.

RELATED: Verizon applies for STA to test at 28 GHz in Texas, New Jersey

AT&T is contributing to the 3GPP wireless standards process and is working with more than a dozen technology companies to get 5G ready for actual deployment.

The company caused a ruckus in April when it announced it would offer “5G Evolution internet speeds” in 20 metro areas by the end of 2017, leading some rivals to call it “fake news” and “fake 5G” because the technologies being deployed are still very much attached to LTE. But AT&T defended its use of the 5G Evolution branding and said it’s laying the foundation for 5G while the standards are being finalized.

RELATED: AT&T: 5G likely to scale commercially by late 2019

The company already offers its 5G Evolution service in parts of Austin, Texas, and in Indianapolis, and it has announced plans for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Francisco.

At an investor conference in Boston last week, AT&T SVP and CFO John Stephens said 5G is another opportunity to provide high-quality solutions. In one of its more recent tests in San Francisco, the company saw speeds of 750 megabits per second. Granted, that was on an unloaded network, but if you can get 10% or 20% of that on a loaded network, “that’s still tremendous wireless speeds in an urban area with high traffic levels,” he said.