AT&T Project AirGig plans to spread 5G through the power grid
Big Orange wants to hit several birds sitting on a power line with a few tiny plastic antenna units.
AT&T is launching Project AirGig into the public, its effort to spread internet service wirelessly through the United States power grid. Affordable antenna units are supposedly able to redistribute wireline and wireless signals around or near, but not directly through medium-voltage cables. Nothing needs to be plugged into the power lines themselves and no new spectrum needs to be licensed.
The company believes that these signals can help it deliver last-mile service while eliminating the need to install towers and fiber. Internet of Things purposes are also a big consideration as well.
The antenna units have radios that switch traffic as needed, helping spread 4G LTE and unlicensed 5G signals around.
AT&T has over 100 patents protecting its technology and has been lab testing this technology over the past decade. It expects field trials to start next year.