AT&T is kicking off its largest 5G fixed wireless trial in Waco, Texas, in terms of mobile traffic at the Magnolia Market at the Silos, a shopping district that features home décor, gifts, games, a garden store, food trucks and a bakery.
“This is a meaningful and important step in bringing our 5G fixed wireless trials to Waco starting with the Silos,” said Marachel Knight, senior vice president, technology planning and engineering, AT&T. “Taking our 5G tests out of the lab and into real, high-traffic environments like the Silos will bring a fantastic customer experience while helping us learn even more about building a 5G network of the future for both consumers and businesses.”
The 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) system will distribute connections throughout the location of the Silos via Wi-Fi. The 5G trial service will be distributed through a number of Wi-Fi access points covering the entire grounds of the Silos, and it is expected to enable faster wireless speeds not just for visitors, but for employees and vendors who use mobile point of sale devices and wireless devices to manage their back-office operations.
“At Magnolia, we’re always looking for opportunities to implement innovative solutions,” said David Washburn, information technology manager, Magnolia. “We’re excited to see how this technology enhances efficiencies for vendor partners and employees alike.”
“The trial with Magnolia helps drive a path for businesses of all sizes to have access to massive capacity via 5G to serve their employees and their customers in ways we couldn’t have even dreamed of just a few years ago,” Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer, AT&T business, said. “During 5G trials in Waco, AT&T will be testing mmWave spectrum and 5G radio and antenna prototypes. We’ll will use our network function virtualization platform, AT&T FlexWare, as the router for the 5G network.”
The 5G trial will be expanded to additional participants including small businesses, residential customers, churches and large educational institutions.
“It’s important for us to conduct 5G trials like this one and to learn how these technologies function in a real-world environment and help drive outcomes for businesses across all industries,” Katibeh said. “Results from these 5G trials will help speed up standards-based 5G deployment as soon as late 2018.”