The company is prepping ultra-fast internet streaming tests.
AT&T has announced plans to test 5G internet connections with DirecTV Now content. Likewise, the company is also readying additional fixed and mobile 5G trials throughout 2017 as the industry continues to move toward standards for the new ultra-fast internet technology.
"Our 5G Evolution plans will pave the way to the next-generation of higher speeds for customers. We're not waiting until the final standards are set to lay the foundation for our evolution to 5G. We're executing now," said John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president, Technology and Operations. "Data on our mobile network has increased about 250,000% since 2007, and the majority of that traffic is video. 5G's promise of greater speed and overall network performance brings huge opportunities not only for video but in the Internet of Things, 4K video, augmented and virtual reality, smart home and cities, autonomous vehicles and much more."
As part of the company's upcoming tests, AT&T plans to hold a trial in Austin where residential customers will be able to stream the DIRECTV Now video service over a fixed wireless 5G connection. Likewise, the provider will also test additional next-gen entertainment platforms over fixed 5G connections across multiple sites and devices. Initial lab trials for 5G have already yielded speeds up to 14 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) and connections with less than 3 milliseconds of latency.
In addition to DirecTV Now streaming, AT&T is also partnering with Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson for mobile and fixed wireless 5G trials in the second half of 2017. Likewise, the company previously launched a 5G business customer trial in Austin with Intel and Ericsson last fall. AT&T's DirecTV Now 5G testing is set to begin in the first half of 2017.