A new milestone in the next generation communications community has been reached, and what a milestone it was. The first successful 5G streaming test has been carried out between Nokia and AT&T (News - Alert), using AT&T's DIRECTV NOW service. With this test complete, a significant new advance has been completed, found stable, and will likely be the jumping-off point for many more advances to come.
Using a system derived from Nokia (News - Alert)'s AirScale radio access platform, this next generation communications advance turned to the 39 GHz spectrum, and proves that several new services can take advantage of this high frequency bandwidth. Developers in this field are certainly interested in 39 GHz wavelengths, as well as the 28 GHz band, thanks to substantial amounts of bandwidth available in both. The 39 GHz wavelength, though, is home to significantly more bandwidth than the 28 GHz equivalent, a point not lost on 5G developers.
This next generation communications advancement actually builds on earlier work, as so many advances do; Nokia's been testing mmWave systems to access this bandwidth since 2016, and has been supported by AT&T in the process. Being able to successfully stream DIRECTV NOW over this bandwidth, meanwhile, effectively demonstrates that 5G will likely be able to provide all the new services people expect, and in a sufficiently low-latency environment that these will actually work out.
Nokia's head of North America, Ricky Corker, commented, “AT&T has laid out its path to 5G, and we're excited to help them execute on it. We continue leveraging our innovations to make 5G a commercial reality. And, delivering a 39 GHz system for AT&T is a great example of our commitment to provide the most relevant services and solutions, and the best collaborative experience to our customers.”
It's no secret at this point that 5G is going to revolutionize the landscape, and deliver a lot of new capability with it. From a potential cure for the rural connectivity problem to a means to connect all the devices of the Internet of Things (IoT) to just being able to actually deliver everyone the level of bandwidth needed for applications from online gaming to mobile workforce functions, there's a lot expected of 5G development. Tests like these and others over the next three years or so should end up giving us just what's needed.
Successful testing now allows those involved in 5G development to build from there, and ultimately create a next generation communications system that will deliver on its impressive promise and offer up a backbone for hundreds of different applications. All that's left is to hope that it all actually works as well as it might.
Edited by Alicia Young