It looks as though golf fans will get a taste of 5G this summer. AT&T filed the paperwork to get Special Temporary Authority (STA) to test and demonstrate 5G 4K video at the 118th U.S. Open in Southampton, New York. The U.S. Open runs June 14-17.
AT&T wants to use the 28 GHz band for the demo, which will involve two fixed-base stations and up to four user equipment units placed within 100 meters of the base station antennas. The 5G air link will be used in wireless transmission of 4K video on the golf course.
The base station antennas will be placed outdoors on a scaffolding-like structure at a height of 5 to 8 meters above ground within the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club perimeters. The application includes maps showing the location of the base stations.
AT&T has said it plans to be the first U.S. carrier to deploy mobile 5G to customers in a dozen cities, including in parts of Dallas; Atlanta; and Waco, Texas, later this year. Company executives have said the operator will offer a mobile “puck” device in time for the launch.
Of course, the company also has other ties to golf. Last month, it announced that it was adding live 4K HDR broadcasts of the 2018 Masters to its 4K channel lineup, so viewers could see “every dimple” on the golf ball as it inches toward the hole.
DirecTV broadcasted the first-ever live 4K UHD broadcast in the U.S. at the Masters in 2016. It has since aired more than 740 hours of live 4K and 4K HDR programming, including college football, NCAA basketball, professional golf, NBA, MLB, the Olympics and more.
Rival Verizon is going after the fixed wireless access version of 5G while AT&T has said it’s not as excited about the business case there. AT&T CFO John Stephens said during its most recent earnings call that the carrier has tested fixed 5G services, but it's not as compelling for AT&T as it may be for others.