AT&T and Nokia have teamed up to complete the first test of 5G wireless technology using DirecTV Now and the 39GHz band. The fixed 5G wireless test was a collaboration between Nokia’s AirScale radio access platform and AT&T’s streaming service DirecTV Now. The test was performed at AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, New Jersey and was the first of its kind to be completed. It was a great demonstration of how high frequencies can be used to deliver new services.
The 28GHz and 39GHz frequencies are attractive for new wireless technologies due to the available bandwidth. The 39GHz band is especially popular for 5G networks because of its available bandwidth. Nokia began testing mmWave technology in 2016 with AT&T. With the success of this first trial, it shows how the 39GHz band can be used as a future standard.
Using DirecTV Now helps us see how media consumption is benefited by low latency and high speed internet. This is an area where higher resolution videos are becoming more common. They also require fast speeds in order to deliver large amounts of data. Tom Keathley, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, AT&T, said:
With this trial, we’re doing something that no other operator has done – regionally or globally. We expect 39 GHz to be an important 5G band in the United States, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Nokia to further advance 5G technology in this band. The work coming out of AT&T Labs will provide valuable contributions to future 5G standards, and allow us to pave the way for delivering significantly faster speeds and a better overall network experience for our customers across the U.S.