AT&T Trialing Fixed-Wireless Millimeter Wave

DALLAS — AT&T is trialing a point-to-point millimeter wave wireless technology that uses in-building wiring to deliver a 100 Mbps connection accessible to each apartment unit. This trial for AT&T uses a combination of wired and wireless network technologies to provide these speeds to multiple apartment complexes in Minneapolis, outside of AT&T's traditional 21 state wireline service area. The company plans to make faster speeds available, likely a speed tier of 500 Mbps, in these trial properties through this fixed-wireless solution.

“We’re trialing the latest innovations in wireless and wired network technologies. This will make it possible for us to potentially deliver an internet connection to more locations where we have not previously been able to offer a home internet connection,” said Ed Balcerzak, senior vice president, Commercial and Connected Communities, AT&T. “If successful, this will give us the ability to offer a combination of Internet, DIRECTV and wireless services to apartment complexes and multifamily communities in additional metro areas.”

Residents in these trial properties can also enjoy the company's DIRECTV service. Its DIRECTV Advantage solution uses a single satellite dish on the building to send a video signal to a centralized distribution system for the property. This makes it possible to offer DIRECTV service in every unit without satellite dishes on balconies.

What is the fixed-wireless technology solution?
The solutions uses millimeter wave wireless technology to send a multi-gigabit signal from a central building connected to fiber to neighboring locations, and then connecting each unit over in-building wiring. This makes it possible to offer ultra-fast Internet speeds to residents in the entire property at a fraction of the time and cost typically associated with making service available.

  • Wireless: We’re extending ultra-fast internet speeds from a fiber-connected property to neighboring properties using small radio/antenna systems placed on the properties’ rooftops. Millimeter wave offers a high-capacity wireless signal that makes it possible to connect a neighboring residential property’s infrastructure to speeds of several gigabits per second.

  • Wired: Once a neighboring building receives the multi-gigabit millimeter wave wireless signal, we convert it to an ultra-fast wired internet connection. We then use existing or new wiring in the property to offer internet access directly to each unit.


After customers in these properties sign up for service, they can plug their Wi-Fi router into an existing wall outlet to get internet service in their apartment.

What does this mean for residents outside of these trial properties?
Fixed-wireless millimeter wave technology allows AT&T the ability to make ultra-fast Internet speeds available to additional locations in less time and with less disruption. This is particularly true in apartment and multifamily communities.

AT&T is evaluating the expansion of this fixed-wireless millimeter wave solution to connect additional properties outside its traditional wireline service area. Additional areas under consideration where we might connect more properties include, but are not limited to, Boston, Denver, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington D.C.

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