AT&T announced on Tuesday that it will begin publicly testing its “Project Airgig” technology, which takes advantage of broadband over powerlines (BPL) and other technologies to provide multi-gigabit speeds to its users, by this fall. The deployment is part of AT&T’s 5G preparation.
AT&T said that it’s currently in “advanced discussions” with power companies ahead of its public tests. It said it’ll begin to deploy Project AirGig in two places, including the United States and one other unannounced country. Project AirGig was developed inside AT&T’s labs as it prepares to deploy 5G data speeds to its wireless customers, and the fastest possible speeds it can deliver to customers who pay for broadband.
“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,” AT&T said on Tuesday, noting that AirGig has been in development for more than 10 years.
High-speed broadband and mobile
Project AirGig combines two technologies, the aforementioned BPL and millimeter wave, to deliver high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity, instead of just one or the other. “These devices create a multi-gigabit signal that travels along or near the wire – not through it,” AT&T explained. “This signal means connected experiences become an everyday reality for people – regardless of location,” the company added, noting that unlike current fiber solutions, Project AirGig doesn’t need to be buried in the ground.
Check out the two videos below for a closer look at how Project AirGig operates.