AT&T (NYSE:T) is trialing a point-to-point millimeter wave wireless technology designed to use in-building wiring to deliver 100 Mbps Internet service to each apartment unit. The trial covers several apartment complexes in Minneapolis, outside of the telco’s traditional 21-state wireline service area.
The trial uses millimeter wave wireless technology to send a multi-gigabit signal from a central building connected to fiber to neighboring apartment buildings, and then connects each apartment unit via in-building wiring. The apartment buildings have small radio/antenna systems placed on the properties’ rooftops, as well as a satellite dish for DirecTV service. Services are then distributed to each unit in the building via existing or new wiring in the property. After customers in the trial properties sign up for service, they can plug a WiFi router into an existing wall outlet to get Internet service.
AT&T also plans to make faster speeds available, likely a speed tier of 500 Mbps, in the trial properties.
“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.”