AT&T close to AirGig broadband over powerlines trials

AT&T says it is in advanced discussions with power companies and others to conduct trials of the service provider's Project AirGig broadband over power technology. The potential trails would take place in at least two locations by this fall, AT&T hopes.

AT&T says it is in advanced discussions with power companies and others to conduct trials of the service provider's Project AirGig broadband over power technology. The potential trails would take place in at least two locations by this fall, AT&T hopes.

One location will be in the United States; the others will be determined “in the coming months, according to AT&T.

AT&T says it already has conducted successful experiments of the broadband over powerline technology at its outdoor facility. The tests led the company to develop such supporting technology as the Radio Distributed Antenna System (RDAS). AT&T believes the technology is ready for the next step.

"We are looking forward to begin testing the possibilities of AT&T Labs' invention for customers and utility companies," said Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and chief technology officer. "AT&T is focused on delivering a gigabit-per-second speed everywhere we can with our wired and wireless technologies. Project AirGig represents a key invention in our 5G Evolution approach. AT&T Labs is 'writing the textbook' for a new technology approach that has the potential to deliver benefits to utility companies and bring this multi-gigabit, low-cost internet connectivity anywhere there are power lines – big urban market, small rural town, globally."

Project AirGig combines more or less traditional broadband over powerline technology with millimeter-wave fixed wireless to get broadband over powerline beyond the megabits level to multiple gigabits. The technology enables power cables to carry millimeter-wave signals, which travel along the cable rather than through it.

In addition to supporting broadband services delivery, AT&T believes AirGig also will support the needs of smart grids

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