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AT&T Communications United States Wireless Networking

AT&T Plans 5G Network Trial for DirecTV Customers (fortune.com) 58

AT&T said it plans to test its high-speed wireless 5G network, which reached speeds of 14 gigabits per second in lab trials, for customers of its online streaming television service, DirecTV Now, in Austin, Texas. From a report on Fortune: The U.S. wireless carrier, which plans to conduct the trial in the first half of 2017, has also teamed up with Qualcomm and Ericsson for mobile and broadband trials of the 5G network in the second half of the year. New 5G networks are expected to provide speeds at least 10 times and maybe 100 times faster than today's 4G networks, giving the potential to connect at least 100 billion devices with download speeds that can reach 10 gigabits per second.

AT&T Plans 5G Network Trial for DirecTV Customers

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  • How many seconds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daninaustin ( 985354 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2017 @11:13AM (#53604309)
    How many seconds of data before you reach your monthly data allotment? ATT will find a way to stick it to you on your bill.
    • Re:How many seconds (Score:5, Informative)

      by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2017 @11:18AM (#53604341)

      It appears their current highest data cap is 100GB (at $450 plus device access charge and other fees). At 10 Gbps, that would last around 1 minute, 20 seconds. That comes to $5.63 per second.

      Those are theoretical speeds and most of us won't ever see them in real life. Still, data caps need to change dramatically as speeds see such increases.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      Don't worry! DirecTV Now is Zero Rated on AT&T's mobile networks so it won't use any of your data! And all it costs is the death of net neutrality!
      • Don't worry! DirecTV Now is Zero Rated on AT&T's mobile networks so it won't use any of your data! And all it costs is the death of net neutrality!

        The price has already been paid in that case...

    • by tsqr ( 808554 )

      How many seconds of data before you reach your monthly data allotment? ATT will find a way to stick it to you on your bill.

      I see this sort of comment quite frequently, and it doesn't make much sense to me. Clearly you will use more data if you keep your connection maxxed out, but that isn't how most people operate. Higher bandwidth does not mean you use more data to stream a movie; it just means you're less likely to have to put up with intermittent buffering. Higher bandwidth does not make the files you download larger, it just lets you acquire them more quickly. So exactly how does a higher connection speed force you to reach

      • Well what is the point of higher connection speed if you don't use it for large transfers? They pose the question because the speeds vs. data cap ratio are ridiculously silly. A super fast internet connection you can barely use is worthless.
        • by tsqr ( 808554 )

          Well what is the point of higher connection speed if you don't use it for large transfers?

          From my point of view, that's like asking, "What is the point of a faster disk drive if you don't use it to store more data?" The point of a higher connection speed is that regardless off the size of the transfer, the data you are transferring gets to you faster. You get a more responsive system. By the way, none of this should be taken as meaning I'm not in favor of larger (or non-existing) data caps. I just don't agree that 10X higher connection speed translates to needing 10X higher data allotment.

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
        Well it's a great way to show how caps are not growing in any sort of realistic proportion to bandwidth speeds. And that's important. Faster internet opens up more use cases for the user. For example: 6mb/s? I'll just buy that 30gb Xbox game on disk (and still suffer through a multi-gig day-1 patch). 100mb/s? Digital it is! Yay! no more swapping discs! Want to stream 4K UHD content? Not with that 6mb/s you aren't. 30mb/s? Go for it! Oh look, true BD level HD streams? You're gonna need a bigger pipe!

        T
        • by tsqr ( 808554 )

          For example: 6mb/s? I'll just buy that 30gb Xbox game on disk (and still suffer through a multi-gig day-1 patch). 100mb/s? Digital it is! Yay! no more swapping discs!

          You would download Xbox games on your mobile device? I must admit, I didn't consider that use case.

          Want to stream 4K UHD content? Not with that 6mb/s you aren't. 30mb/s? Go for it!

          I salute you for possessing the visual acuity to fully enjoy UHD video on your phone's screen.

          I can just do the things I do now faster

          And there we are. This is the main reason everybody and their mother moved from dial-up to ISDN to ADSL and on and on to the latest broadband technology. Also the reason most people cite for upgrading to faster computers and to solid state drives.

          Speaking of SSDs, I've never heard of anyone saying, "My new drive is 10

          • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

            For example: 6mb/s? I'll just buy that 30gb Xbox game on disk (and still suffer through a multi-gig day-1 patch). 100mb/s? Digital it is! Yay! no more swapping discs!

            You would download Xbox games on your mobile device? I must admit, I didn't consider that use case.

            Want to stream 4K UHD content? Not with that 6mb/s you aren't. 30mb/s? Go for it!

            I salute you for possessing the visual acuity to fully enjoy UHD video on your phone's screen.

            I can just do the things I do now faster

            And there we are. This is the main reason everybody and their mother moved from dial-up to ISDN to ADSL and on and on to the latest broadband technology. Also the reason most people cite for upgrading to faster computers and to solid state drives.

            Speaking of SSDs, I've never heard of anyone saying, "My new drive is 10X faster than the old one; it needs to be 10X larger so I won't fill it up too fast (not to be confused with the common "cost per gigabyte compared to platters" complaint).

            What, your phone doesn't support a hotspot? Mine does. Your cellphone provider doesn't sell dedicated hotspots? You should really find a new one. And since my cellular data at home is faster than my wired internet (thanks AT&T uverse!) if it wasn't capped I'd sure as hell use it and dump uverse in a heartbeat. Also these questions of speed vs cap are not just a cellular issue. Broadband carriers are rolling out caps at the same time they are also starting to offer higher speeds, particularly cable com

      • Higher bandwidth does not mean you use more data to stream a movie

        Actually, in most cases it does. The provider automatically selects the video quality based on the available bandwidth, so more bandwidth available equals more bandwidth—and data—used for the same duration of video. Up to a point, anyway: 4K or UHD video, the current "gold standards", require 35-45 Mbps; this is also the approximate maximum bitrate supported by Blu-ray discs. At that rate you'd need to download a GB every 3.5 minutes, or over 24 GB for a typical 1.5 hour movie. I suspect the pea

        • by tsqr ( 808554 )

          When I see "in most cases" in reference to video streaming, I think "Netflix". Netflix says [netflix.com] UHD video is 7 GB/hr, or 10.5 GB for a typical 1.5 hr movie; HD is 3 GB/hr, or 4.5 GB for a typical 1.5 hr movie. But you won't see an auto-switch from HD to UHD unless you're paying Netflix a premium for UHD content. And if you're watching on your phone, you can manage cellular data usage separately in your Netflix account settings.

          • Netflix says UHD video is 7 GB/hr, or 10.5 GB for a typical 1.5 hr movie

            You can certainly compress UHD video (or just about any resolution) down to 20 Mbps or less, but quality will suffer as a result. What is the point of ultra-high-resolution video with visible compression artifacts? Streaming at Blu-ray-equivalent video quality would require around 40 Mbps. This also happens to be in line with the Youtube UHD video upload guidelines.

            Specific content providers may, of course, offer varying levels of control over video quality, at their discretion. At the moment there is no un

    • If they use muilt-cast like the IPTV U-verse tv system then not so much.

      But if they want to get very evil have the installer miss aim the dish so it's easy to get rain fade and when that 16 tuner box switches to cell it's overeager city and even if with an auto cut off that takes 1 hour you can rack up a lot at $10 a gig.

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

        If they use muilt-cast like the IPTV U-verse tv system then not so much.

        But if they want to get very evil have the installer miss aim the dish so it's easy to get rain fade and when that 16 tuner box switches to cell it's overeager city and even if with an auto cut off that takes 1 hour you can rack up a lot at $10 a gig.

        This is for DirecTV Now, not regular DirecTV. DirecTV Now is an Over The Top (OTT) streaming TV service from DirecTV. It competes with SlingTV and Playstation Vue. There is no dish involved.

        • they will join them all together or at least iptv and sat.

          • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

            they will join them all together or at least iptv and sat.

            They are not putting cellular modems in their DTV boxes. That would be beyond useless and since the data is zero rated on their network, it would make no sense to do it from their perspective anyway.

            • No IPTV can can be fed over copper / fiber / cell out the att router box.

              • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

                No IPTV can can be fed over copper / fiber / cell out the att router box.

                Yes it can but what does that have to do with the article here, specifically talking about their new 5G offering to DirecTV Now customers and your original post about how a 16 tuner set top box would eat up the data allowance if the tech installing the dish miss-aimed it? There is no dish in this case, nor is there a set top DVR. The service isn't being offered to DirecTV customers, and there is no reason to do that anyway. They already have satellite equipment to receiver their channels on. Right now AT

    • How many seconds of data before you reach your monthly data allotment?

      The same as on 4G. When I visit Slashdot.com I get sent 1.5MB of data regardless if I'm on 3G, 4G or 5G. The difference is I don't have to wait around on a loading screen with 5G.

  • ...better served if AT&T could manage to run its own email servers instead of leaving their customers at the mercy of Yahoo.

    • ...and AT&Ts fix is to go to Yahoo to reset your password. Why the fuck can't AT&T run its own email servers?

  • I thought the whole point of LTE was Long Term Evolution (says it right there on the tin). 5G seems to be built around millimeter wave, which has some pretty severe distance limitations, meaning it is feasible for networks to deploy this technology in highly dense population areas primarily. What's the point?

    • We aren't even using 4g yet.

      The marketing wank in this industry is thick and inscrutable.

      All that I gleaned from TFS was "omg we figured out how multicast works, herp herp!"

      • maybe in your country. USA has had LTE for years now. even the ultra cheap phones work on LTE

      • We aren't even using 4g yet.

        LTE is working even on small cities here, on inner-side of São Paulo, Brazil, now (up to some months ago, it only worked on the state capitals and other big cities around it...)

    • What's the point?

      Targeted marketing.

      The people who have the disposable income to spend on watching TV while walking, sitting, or driving are what we call, "Upwardly mobile."

      They aren't the bullet-dodgers on the South side.

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2017 @11:27AM (#53604389) Journal
    I have the legacy land line and switched to Directv to catch a sports package, and this has led to a pretty heavy marketing attempt to bundle the other services.

    The temptation being proffered now is the "unlimited" data use for viewing tv on all your devices if you submit to the bundling.

    I am naturally sceptical that these perks will last long beyond an introductory period, as the very best deals for everything are only available to new customers for a limited time.

    • Sure, they are typically only for *new* customers. But a phone call and 30-60 min of time after that grace period will likely get you to the retention folks. While you may not get quite the same deal as the new guys, you may get something comparable. I had Qwest back in the day and had their ~50Mb plan for $35 and they wanted to raise it to $70. Comcast had a deal for ~50Mb for $40, and when I called Qwest out on it, they kept me on the $35 plan for another year.
  • Now, about that rural broadband thing...
  • by sconeu ( 64226 )

    Is AT&T also going to hand out 5G phones for free to these test case people?

    • by Shatrat ( 855151 )

      This has nothing to do with phones. AT&T and VZ are planning to roll out 5G to fixed wireless customers before mobile customers, as an alternative to building fiber to the home.

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