NRTC Logo

News & Events
New User? Request Login
LoginLogin

AT&T Says Project AirGig Could Be a Fit With 5G

Randy Sukow Sep 11, 2018

Two years ago, AT&T announced that it was working on a technology to send wireless internet signals along power lines using a technology that potentially could deliver gigabit-plus speeds anyplace utilities distribute electricity. Yesterday, the company said that it not only is still working on “Project AirGig,” but that it foresees the technology providing backhaul data feeding 5G networks in rural America.

"The potential ability to also use this technology to supplement our own energy operations and controls, such as with remote weather monitoring systems, is exciting. We can see something like AirGig delivering tremendous benefits in helping to solve for the digital divide in Georgia,” said Paul Bowers, CEO, Georgia Power, which has been providing power lines for AT&T to conduct field trials.

The company did not announce a commercial launch date for AirGig. The next step, it said, would be additional field trials, part of which would seek ways to integrate the technology with 5G networks. A multi-gigabit wireless conduit along power lines in extremely remote areas could be an ideal link to distant backbone fiber optic networks. It could make 5G applications, such as autonomous vehicle operation, feasible even in very low-population areas.

The AirGig plan, as AT&T explained in 2016, is to use millimeter wave radio signals (above 24 GHz) to travel along powerlines. Radios on the power lines would regularly refresh the signal as it travels. The technology differs from earlier broadband over powerline (BPL) technologies, which traveled with the current. BPL signal leakage slowed in data rates dramatically over short distances.

"Utilizing AirGig as backhaul starts to change the [rural broadband] economics," said Gordon Mansfield, AT&T VP, Converged Access and Devices in a C/NET article. "It will allow us to extend coverage with higher, broadband types of speeds."

Recent Posts


Filter By...

NRTC@NRTConnect

Nov 14

RT @beerhockey99: Ribbon cutting today at the Sierra Army Depot for a brand new 2.5MW solar system with Plumas Sierra REC completed ahead o…

Oct 29

RT @beerhockey99: Another exciting ribbon cutting - Connexus Energy’s 10MW system. Pictured are Greg Ridderbusch, Connecus CEO, Frank Dema…

Oct 22

Congrats to @unitedpowercoop for all their hard work on their energy storage project. Read more here:… https://t.co/VJEHCpSpA2
Get the latest news and insight from NRTC