The trials will allow customers at a local shopping complex to sample the speed of 5G over a WIFI connection

AT&T has begun testing at its largest 5G fixed wireless trial in Waco, Texas, according to a company statement. The trial marks AT&T’s biggest and most ambitious venture into the realm of 5G testing. 

“This is a meaningful and important step in bringing our 5G fixed wireless trials to Waco starting with the Silos,” said Marachel Knight, senior vice president, Technology Planning and Engineering, AT&T. “Taking our 5G tests out of the lab and into real, high-traffic environments like the Silos will bring a fantastic customer experience while helping us learn even more about building a 5G network of the future for both consumers and businesses.”

The tests, which is taking place at The Silos shopping and entertainment complex, will make use of a 5G millimeter wave system, which will distribute connections throughout the test site via Wi-Fi. 

The 5G trial service will be distributed through a number of Wi-Fi access points and will enable faster wireless speeds not just for visitors, but for employees and vendors who use mobile point of sale devices and wireless devices to manage their back-office operations. 

“Connectivity is at the core of every company’s digital transformation. 5G will have a significant impact on how businesses work and how they engage with their customers,” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business. “The trial with Magnolia helps drive a path for businesses of all sizes to have access to massive capacity via 5G to serve their employees and their customers in ways we couldn’t have even dreamed of just a few years ago.”

During 5G trials in Waco, AT&T will be testing millimeter wave spectrum and 5G radio and antenna prototypes. The company will utilise its network function virtualisation platform, AT&T FlexWare, as the router for the 5G network.

AT&T said that the results from these 5G trials will help speed up standards-based 5G deployment by late 2018.