AT&T is soon planning to demonstrate its latest advancements in the 5G segment in its home city of Dallas, Texas, having filed for a Special Temporary Authority permit with the Federal Communications Commission in order to do so. The test is meant to take place between February 1st and June 1st at the Hyatt Regency Dallas hotel and involve fixed base stations located throughout the building, with AT&T's technologies using the 28GHz and 39GHz bands. The second largest wireless carrier in the United States said the project is supported by several partners but didn't mention any names. Ericsson, Qualcomm, Intel, and Nokia are some of the likeliest candidates for partnering with AT&T on the downtown Dallas test as all of them have already collaborated with the telecom giant on 5G technologies in the past.
The experiment will be partially focused on millimeter-wave propagation that was previously found to be challenging to realize in environments surrounded by low-emissivity (Low-E) glass, the kind of material that's abundant in the Hyatt Regency Dallas, as indicated by some of the images AT&T attached to its testing application seen in the gallery below. The fact that the building also has thick concrete walls should also put AT&T's technology to its limit as the nature of high-frequency bands allows them to have a relatively broad reach but at the expense of penetration. The original application was filed with the FCC last Wednesday and has yet to be processed by the telecommunications regulator.
AT&T will have to ramp up its 5G research and development endeavors in the coming months if it's hoping to deliver on its recent promise to provide about a dozen of U.S. cities with truly mobile 5G coverage in late 2018, a notion that some of its rivals ridiculed while others remain highly skeptical about it. The wireless carrier sees mmWave-based solutions as an instrumental component of a seamless transition to 5G and is already lobbying for the FCC to offer it through a voucher-based spectrum auction. The company's experimental 5G network meant to be commercialized near the end of the year will launch alongside at least one 5G-enabled device, the firm said earlier this month, without elaborating on the matter. 5G is not to be confused with 5G Evolution, which is how AT&T is advertising its improved 4G LTE network in select cities.