AT&T said it is in advanced discussions with technology suppliers to start testing and building commercial-grade Project AirGig equipment.
Unveiled two years ago, AT&T hopes AirGig fixed wireless broadband could one day deliver internet speeds well over 1 Gbps via a millimeter wave (mmWave) signal guided by power lines. To support the project, AT&T Labs invented items like low-cost plastic antennas, a radio distributed antenna system (RDAS), mmWave surface wave launchers and inductive power devices.
Last year, AT&T launched a trial of Project AirGig technology in Georgia with Georgia Power to provide a fixed wireless application to a number of participating homes. It used a combination of mmWave and LTE spectrum. The Operator said it used plastic antenna prototypes installed along the utility poles and observed no degradation of the mmWave signals during rain and other weather events. It provided a system which delivered hundreds of megabits per second to a number of residential locations in a rural part of the state. Trial participants used easy “self-install” receiver equipment, which allowed them to access high speed internet within 10 minutes, added AT&T.
AT&T is confident that these speeds could eventually reach the gigabit range in commercial deployments.