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AT&T Bows Second 5G Trial With DirecTV Now in Austin, Texas

27 Jun, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

AT&T June 27 announced a second trial in Austin, Texas, for 5G wireless network connectivity — this time using the DirecTV Now standalone online TV platform. The nation’s largest telecom envisions expanding DirecTV Now beyond cord-cutters to the wireless market.

AT&T in 2016 completed the industry’s first fixed wireless 5G-business trial in Austin.

The current test will give Internet connection to customers using Ericsson's 5G RAN and the Intel 5G mobile trial platform. Trial participants will be able to stream live TV and experience faster (1 gigabit per second) broadband services — all over a fixed wireless 5G signal.

AT&T said it first delivered DirecTV Now using mmWave technology at its lab in Middletown, N.J. It was the first time the online TV service had been delivered over a 5G connection.

“The technology behind 5G is important. But it's also about advancing social trends like mobile video streaming,” Marachel Knight, SVP of wireless network architecture and design for AT&T, said in a statement. “The network of the future will help redefine what connectivity means to both consumers and businesses. This trial helps show that the new reality is coming fast.”

Data traffic on the AT&T mobile network has grown more than 250,000% since 2007. Video now makes up over half of its mobile data traffic. In fact, video traffic grew over 75% and smartphones drove almost 75% of data traffic in 2016.

"Intel, AT&T and Ericsson's work together, trialing early usages of 5G technologies and the experiences it will bring to businesses, demonstrates the importance of industry collaborations and need for seamless flow of data across the network, cloud and device to make 5G a reality,” said Sandra Rivera, SVP and GM of Intel's network platforms group and 5G executive sponsor.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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