Wireless local loop is looking faster, says AT&T

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Might work fine here.

AT&T is starting to position its wireless substitute for wireline broadband service as able to meet the Federal Communication Commission’s 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload standard. According to a story in FierceWireless

AT&T said it is currently testing fixed wireless local loop (WLL) technology in select areas of the country with local residents who want to try the service, including in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Virginia, and is seeing speeds of around 15 to 25 Mbps.

Up until now, AT&T had only said that it expected speeds for what it calls wireless local loop (WLL) service to top out in the 15 Mbps to 20 Mbps range. It uses mobile broadband infrastructure and technology, along with professionally installed equipment on customers’ homes, to deliver service via what it says will be 20 MHz of dedicated spectrum, evenly split between upload and download segments.

WLL service figured prominently in AT&T’s acceptance of $2.6 billion in FCC subsidies to serve rural areas. According to an SEC filing (thanks again to FierceWireless for the link), WLL capacity is limited and it’s suited for areas with 250 or fewer people per square mile. In California that pretty much rules out cities and larger towns in rural areas, but it could include smaller, unincorporated communities. Farm and ranch land population densities, though, usually fall far below that limit.

The SEC filing makes it clear that not everyone can expect 15 Mbps to 25 Mbps. At the edge of coverage, 10 Mbps is more likely, although not certain, depending on how heavily it’s being used at a given moment.