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AT&T to Test 5G Wireless for Delivery of ‘DirecTV Now’ to Homes

  • Fast, fiber-optic substitute may be commercially ready in 2018
  • 5G ‘opens up whole new worlds,’ says AT&T chief of strategy

AT&T Inc. has reached speeds of up to 14 gigabits a second in lab trials of 5G wireless technology, and plans to test the high-speed network by beaming its DirecTV Now video service to homes in Austin, Texas before midyear.

Through a collaboration with a dozen partners including Intel Corp., Ericsson AB and Qualcomm Inc., AT&T plans to use experimental airwaves to test fifth-generation or 5G residential and business services as a potentially cheaper method than fiber-optic cable for high-capacity connections, said John Donovan, AT&T’s chief strategy officer. AT&T announced its 5G plans Wednesday at CES in Las Vegas.