Project AirGig is a transformative technology from AT&T Labs that could one day deliver low-cost, multi-gigabit wireless internet speeds using power lines. Urban, rural and underserved parts of the world could benefit from this innovative wireless connectivity.
What is Project AirGig?
- Delivers the last-mile wireless connectivity to any home or handheld wireless device without any new fiber-to-the-home.
- Allows for the deployment of these multi-gigabit connections without the building of new cell towers or burying of new underground cables.
How does AirGig work?
- AT&T is experimenting with multiple ways to send a modulated radio signal alongside medium-voltage power lines.
- We invented low-cost plastic antennas and devices along the power line that can be used for 4G LTE and 5G multi-gigabit mobile and fixed deployments.
- We plan to distribute these antennas alongside existing power lines, therefore providing an efficient and reliable signal. The goal is to chain these devices sequentially on power poles.
What are the benefits of Project AirGig?
- By using existing infrastructure – like power lines – Project AirGig can enable a dramatically expanded wireless footprint to provide service in urban and rural areas alike.
- By using our patent-pending antennas and devices, we can lower hardware and deployment costs while maintaining the highest signal quality.
- The technology is flexible enough to be configured with small cells or distributed antenna systems, and is easier to deploy than fiber.
- Project AirGig could help utility companies detect power line issues quickly by pinpointing specific locations where the lines become compromised.
What is the status of Project AirGig today?
- We are currently testing the technology at AT&T Labs in Middletown, New Jersey. So far, the testing at our multiple outdoor facilities – spanning 262 acres – has been positive. We expect to kick off our first field trials in 2017. While Project AirGig is still very much in the experimentation phase, we’re excited about what AT&T Labs’ engineers have developed to date.
Through Project AirGig, AT&T is working to offer broader, more affordable wireless multi-gigabit internet access on a global scale.