AT&T to Trial Wireless Broadband over Power Lines

AT&T (NYSE:T) has unveiled Project AirGig, a technology intended to deliver multi-gigabit Internet speeds via power lines and unlicensed ...

AT&T expands fiber, fixed wireless in Mississippi
AT&T expands fiber, fixed wireless in Mississippi

AT&T (NYSE:T) has unveiled Project AirGig, a technology intended to deliver multi-gigabit Internet speeds via power lines and unlicensed wireless spectrum to any home or handheld wireless device. The company expects to kick off the first field trials in 2017.

"Project AirGig has tremendous potential to transform Internet access globally - well beyond our current broadband footprint and not just in the United States," said John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president, Technology and Operations, AT&T. "The results we've seen from our outdoor labs testing have been encouraging, especially as you think about where we're heading in a 5G world. To that end, we're looking at the right global location to trial this new technology next year."

AT&T says it's experimenting with multiple ways to send a modulated radio signal around or near medium-voltage power lines. There's no direct electrical connection to the power line required, and the telco says the technology has the potential of multi-gigabit speeds in urban, rural and underserved parts of the world. It's designed to be configured with small cells or distributed antenna systems.

As part of Project AirGig, AT&T Labs invented low-cost plastic antennas and devices located along the power line to regenerate millimeter wave (mmWave) signals that can be used for 4G LTE and 5G multi-gigabit mobile and fixed deployments. The patent-pending devices can mean low hardware and deployment costs.

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