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AT&T begins 5G DSS deployment

2020-06-08 11:10 by
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AT&T is adding more resources to its budding 5G network. The wireless giant said on Friday that it has started deploying a new network technology known as dynamic spectrum sharing that could eventually lead to a big jump in coverage.

The importance of DSS has been heightened by the shift to 5G. At its simplest level, the technology enables a block of spectrum to be shared with legacy network technologies, in this case 4G, with allocations adapted according to demand. Due to limited U.S. availability of empty mid band radio spectrum for 5G rollouts, dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) has become a critical alternative, enabling carriers to split existing 4G spectrum into 4G and 5G segments.

AT&T's initial 5G efforts have not used DSS. Instead, it first launched 5G in its unused millimeter wave [mmWave] spectrum and later launched it on a reserved chunk of its lowband 850MHz spectrum. That latter effort currently covers 120 million people and is scheduled to be nationwide this summer.

DSS will first be available in parts of AT&T's network in North Texas, an AT&T spokesperson said. The carrier didn't give a timeline for when DSS will be widely deployed, saying "as we continue our rollout, we will continue to announce 5G market launches when available."

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