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Is AT&T’s AirGig Technology the Next Big Thing in Telecom?


U.S.telecom behemoth AT&T Inc. T has announced ‘AirGig’ – a project which aims at extending 4G LTE and 5G coverage through the existing power grid lines. Although the project is at its nascent stage, if successful, AT&T can deliver high-speed Internet services to underserved parts of the country at a low cost.

Project AirGig in Details

Under AirGig, AT&T aims to deliver wireless data connectivity through a number of low-priced plastic antennas over power grid lines. The signal will be transmitted over license free spectrum and make the deployment of the technology way more feasible than over fiber optic lines. AT&T has already applied for patents related to this technology.

Benefits to AT&T

In the U.S., people in the rural areas face connectivity issues and low Internet speeds. Moreover, fiber deployment in these underserved areas has been slow. With power grids already existing in these areas, the new AigGig technology shall be suitable for distribution of AT&T’s wireless network in these areas. This will result in increased customer addition. Additionally, AT&T’s new technology will provide power companies a range of smart grid applications to manage power transmission in a better manner.

The Bottom Line

As per AT&T, early experiments conducted on this technology have been positive so far. This included streaming of 4K video in its research labs. The company is looking forward to conducting field trials for AirGig in the years to come. Thus, commercial deployment of the same is still far away. Meanwhile, the companies that are deploying fiber lines may complete the same before the deployment of the AigGig technology. Moreover, operational hindrance in case of power outages is a major concern. However, if AT&T succeeds in implementing this new technology, it will lend it a huge advantage over its wireless rivals like Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS and Sprint Corporation S in terms of network coverage and customer count.

AT&T currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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