AT&T Kicks Off 5G-Powered DirecTV Now Trial

Working with Intel, Ericsson for second trial in Austin

AT&T has moved ahead with a second trial in Austin, Texas, that uses millimeter wave spectrum and emerging 5G technologies to deliver services from DirecTV Now, the company’s new OTT TV service.

The second test, targeted to residential and business customers, is using Ericsson's 5G RAN and Intel’s 5G Mobile Trial Platform, and delivering live TV from DirecTV Now on a fixed wireless 5 G signal. The latest trial in Austin, follows a fixed wireless 5G business customer trial conducted there in 2016.

AT&T said it expects the trial in Austin will deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps using mmWave spectrum. Earlier this year, AT&T and Nokia combined on test of 5G fixed-wireless streaming of DirecTV Now over a 39-GHz system that was conducted at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, N.J.

RELATED: Nokia, AT&T Test 5G Streaming of DirecTV Now

The Austin trials, AT&T said, represent a “major step on our journey to deliver state-of-the-art 5G wireless speeds as early as late 2018.”

RELATED: Apple Eyes 5G Tests

"The technology behind 5G is important. But it's also about advancing social trends like mobile video streaming," said Marachel Knight, AT&T senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design.

RELATED: Low Costs, Dense Markets Critical to Starry’s Success: Analyst

"In Austin, we're testing DirecTV NOW over ultra-fast internet speeds at a variety of locations,” Knight said. "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."