AT&T’s 5G demonstration this week at the Texas Wireless Summit in Austin showed that the use of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum can deliver high bandwidth speeds in the 13 to 14 Gb/s range with a latency of close to 1 millisecond or less.
The wireless operator teamed with Ericsson and conducted the demonstration to show the capabilities of 5G pre-standardized equipment outside of a lab environment. “This was a good opportunity to let some of the University of Texas folks and others see what is going on,” said Dave Wolter, assistant vice president, radio technology and RAN architecture at AT&T.
Wolter said the demo was conducted in the 15 GHz spectrum using a special temporary license issued by the FCC. The Proof of Concept (PoC) showed that the company could transmit four independent streams of data, including one stream of 4K video, over an 800 MHz wide radio channel. The demo used analog beam forming with ultra-fast beam selection, feedback-based hybrid precoding, 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), and dynamic beam tracking.
AT&T used a scheduler to apportion the time frequency resources, Wolter said. That scheduler looks at the data and the conditions of the channel and then optimizes the data for delivery.
Wolter added that the demo serves a couple of different purposes. It helps the vendors understand the capabilities and performance of their systems. And it also provides data that AT&T can then share with the 3GPP, the mobile industry standards body responsible for contributing to the 5G standard. “Although we were using prototype gear, so there’s always some equipment issues, we are happy with how this performed,” Wolter said.
AT&T has said it wants to accelerate the 5G standards process. The company is working with several other companies including China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, KDDI, LG, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung, SK Telecom, Telstra, and Vodafone to enable faster 5G deployments once the 3GPP finishes the first release of its official specification.
Verizon, meanwhile, has taken a different approach. Last July the company released 5G specs to potential vendors to help it build its 5G network. The company said the 5G specs offered guidelines on testing and validating 5G components.