AT&T (NYSE: T) will reportedly use fixed wireless local loop (WLL) gear from Australia's NetComm Wireless and services from Ericsson for its WLL technology tests, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, citing unnamed sources. AT&T has said it will test WLL in areas of Georgia, Alabama, Kansas and Virginia with the goal of delivering residential customers with wireless broadband services at speeds around 15 to 25 Mbps.
AT&T's fixed WLL service will require a technician to install a receiver in the customer's home. In areas where WLL is deployed, it is expected to deliver speeds and usage that are comparable or even superior to that of wireline services. AT&T said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year that the technology will even provide customers on the cell edge speeds faster than 10 Mbps more than 90 percent of the time.
AT&T also said the fixed WLL technology will use its wireless spectrum and LTE infrastructure through a 20 MHz (10x10 MHz paired uplink and downlink) configuration.
According to the Morning Herald, NetComm signed a master purchase agreement with AT&T in a deal that calls for NetComm to work with Ericsson to deploy AT&T's fixed WLL equipment. NetComm also issued a press release saying that it signed a purchase agreement with "a large USA-based telecommunications carrier" for a "fixed-wireless rural broadband network which will be built by that carrier." However, the company said that "due to a confidentiality agreement in place with this large USA-based telecommunications carrier, NetComm Wireless is unable to provide specifics in relation to the agreement at the present time."
NetComm has previously worked with Ericsson to deliver a similar WLL service in Australia for the Australia National Broadband Network. That WLL service uses fixed wireless gear in the 2.3 GHz spectrum and is available on a wholesale basis for all Australians. Ericsson manages the network which is powered by NetComm devices.
This isn't AT&T's first deal with NetComm. In March, the company said that NetComm Wireless' 4G WiFi M2M router was certified for deploying in the U.S., and was applicable for many industrial applications such as smart buildings, remote healthcare, emergency response and more.
Report: AT&T using NetComm, Ericsson for fixed WLL effort
AT&T testing fixed wireless local loop services with speeds of 15-25 Mbps
AT&T: Fixed wireless local loop will require installations at cell sites and customers' homes -- but tech is unproven