AT&T to sign new 5G technology partners

AT&T is on the way to join forces with several global technology leaders and operators for its work on 5G.

The tech partners are China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, KDDI, LG, Nokia, NTT Docomo, Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung, SK Telecom, Telstra and Vodafone, while Verizon is missing from the lineup.

The development is happening at a time when the telecom industry is getting ready for the release of the official 3GPP specifications.

AT&T intends to achieve faster 5G deployment once the 3GPP standard completes the first release of its official specifications.

“Interim and fragmented pre-standard specifications can distract from the ultimate goal. Linking trials to the standards process is the fastest path to large-scale global 5G deployment,” said Tom Keathley, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, AT&T.

AT&T targets a set of industry participants, both carriers and equipment vendors, for the 5G collaboration.

AT&T is gearing ahead with its 5G trials with over-the-air interoperability testing based on standards developed under the 3GPP New Radio (NR) specifications. The trials are built such that integration with future versions of the official 5G standards is possible.

Recently, chipset major Intel also announced a partnership with AT&T, to provide its technology to build out the latter’s future network.

Earlier, AT&T, which competes with Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile US, also revealed plans of shutting down its 2G network by the end of the year.

The company has about 150 MgHz of spectrum out of which 40 mGHz is unused, and it is also participating in the spectrum auction, to enhance its 5G capabilities.

AT&T said its GigaPower service is expected to reach at least 12.5 million customer locations over the next few years. By the end of the year, around 2.6 million homes will have access to it, revealed the company in July, this year.