AT&T asked the FCC to approve a two-year experimental license to conduct tests related to 5G. Specifically, the carrier wants to evaluate propagation in the 3.4 – 4.2 GHz and millimeter wave bands.
The carrier tells the FCC in its application, an industry standards organization, “3rd Generation Partnership Project” is developing 5G standards, which are expected to be released starting in 2018. Testing performed under the experimental license would provide information to optimize 5G system parameters and provide data on coverage, latency and other performance metrics.
“5G systems will utilize advanced antenna technologies with beamforming and multiple in multiple output technology, as well as more efficient coding and modulation schemes,” states AT&T. “These technologies are expected to result in higher spectral efficiencies, reduce latency to 1-5 milliseconds, and enable gigabyte per-second mobile and fixed broadband services, significantly faster than today’s average 4G speeds using long term evolution connections.”
The experiments to be conducted in Austin, Texas will involve communications between a fixed outdoor base station and user equipment operated from inside residential units, business units, and test vehicles located within three kilometers of the base station. The 5G radio signal will be measured and analyzed in various types of RF propagation environments (such as line-of-sight, through foliage and built-up nearby structures).
AT&T assures the Commission it would coordinate with American Spectrum Resources, Inc. before testing to ensure it doesn’t interfere with other operators in the 3.4 – 4.2 GHz bands.