Project AirGig, is in motion, says AT&T, including the announcement of recent launches of both an international trial and a U.S. trial in Georgia, with utility company Georgia Power/Southern Company.
AirGig is a first-of-its-kind system. It could one day deliver internet speeds well over 1 gigabit per second via a millimeter wave (mmWave) signal guided by power lines. We hope that one day there will be no need to build new towers or bury new cables in locations close to aerial power lines. Instead, using AirGig patented technology, we would install devices to provide high speed broadband which can be clamped on by trained electrical workers in just a few minutes.
AirGig technology embodies over a decade of research by AT&T Labs and more than 300 patents and patent applications. It also represents a potential new era in connectivity where turbocharged data speeds can be available almost everywhere in the world.
“Project AirGig is part of our ongoing effort to accelerate internet connections to a gig or more through both wired and wireless solutions,” said Andre Fuetsch, president, AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer. “But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide. If these trials and our continued research and development turn out the way we intend, we’ll take a big step toward bringing hyper-fast connectivity to people everywhere.”
There are two trials in the current phase of the project.
The first trial started earlier this fall and is with an electricity provider outside the U.S. The second trial recently kicked off in Georgia with Georgia Power. While this trial is located in a rural area, AirGig could be deployed in many areas not served by high speed broadband today – rural, suburban, or urban.
“In October, for a remarkable fifth time in a row, Georgia was named the best state in the nation in which to do business, highlighting an environment that helps ensure companies continue to invest and innovate in our great state. AT&T’s decision to trial Project AirGig in Georgia with Georgia Power is a tribute to that,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “Project AirGig offers transformational possibilities to bring gigabit internet connections to residents and businesses everywhere. It’s exciting that the first trial in the nation is being conducted in Georgia, with AT&T’s innovation helping keep us at the forefront of the technology sector.”
“Georgia Power continuously utilizes technology research and collaborates with companies like AT&T in order to introduce new products and services that help meet the changing needs of our customers,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “Expanding access to high speed internet is an important initiative that provides value for our all of our customers and helps us remain a competitive state in which to do business.”
“AT&T has a long-history of connecting people with their world and is proud to be on the cutting-edge of innovation, now with Project AirGig trials,” said Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia. “Governor Deal and legislative leadership have worked hard to create an environment that welcomes private investment and innovation, and the significant decision to conduct our national AirGig trial in Georgia is evidence of that. We appreciate our collaboration with Georgia Power and look forward to yet another way to deliver gigabit internet connections to consumers.”
As we learn from these trials and continue to develop this technology, we’ll look at expanding more advanced technology trials in other locations.
While there’s no timeline yet for commercial deployment, we’re encouraged and excited by what we’ve seen so far. Innovation is never a straight path. But, these trials point the way forward to a potential future where the benefits of ultra-fast internet are available to almost everyone.