AT&T has recently announced that it has began its 5G trials in the city of Waco in Texas, in collaboration with Magnolia. This latest round of 5G tests represents the biggest ever with a home and lifestyle company for the major US wireless carrier. The trials mainly involve rolling out a 5G millimeter wave system at the Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, which should also serve Magnolia Seed and Supply, a food truck park, and Silos Baking Co.
Furthermore, the system will also deliver distributed connections to the area’s daily volume of about 5,000 people consisting of both employees and of course, visitors. Users can experience the 5G service being tested by logging unto Wi-Fi via their smartphones or tablet devices, collectively playing the role of the first ever test market for 5G in the city.
As explained by Marachel Knight, the senior vice president of technology planning and engineering at AT&T, via a press release, the 5G trials in Waco, Texas gives AT&T a perfect opportunity to not only test its upcoming 5G service in a high traffic setting, but also gain insights into how it can deliver 5G to both end users and business establishments at the same time.
AT&T also revealed that apart from making full use of its AT&T FlexWareSM network function virtualization platform as a router, it is also looking to conduct trials on 5G radio and antenna prototypes. Of course, the Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco is only the first step -- the second biggest mobile operator in the United States (read our 2017 review) is also planning to broaden the scope of the testing in order to include other participants such as small enterprises, consumers at residential areas, places of worship, and even big schools.
Back in August earlier this year, AT&T had bared its plans to start conducting fixed wireless 5G tests in three new metros before the end of the year. Those three cities are Kalamazoo in Michigan, South Bend in Indiana, and Waco in Texas. Also, more than a week ago, the company also announced that it was targeting to have 5G trials in 37, 38 GigaHertz bands in Waco as well. The carrier has already successfully launched its 5G Evolution offering in Austin, the state capital of Texas, where it had managed to log connection speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second and latency rates of below 10 milliseconds.
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