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Telstra, Ericsson Stage First Oz 5G Technology Demo

Telstra and Ericsson have staged the first public demonstration of 5G cellular technology in Australia, with Telstra saying its early involvement is essential so it can have input to evolving 5G standards and make sure they meet Australia’s requirements.

The demonstration was staged at Telstra’s Global Operations Centre in Melbourne using two prototype user terminals, one fixed and one in a van driving around the centre’s parking lot.

Telstra demonstrated a total throughput of 20Gbps, using 800MHz of spectrum in the 15GHz band.

In addition to greatly increased bandwidth, Telstra says the lower latency of 5G will be crucial for supporting industrial applications and the Internet of Things (IoT).  “We know this lower latency will have a huge impact on future gaming and immersive experiences, virtual and augmented reality, and IoT,” said Mike Wright, Telstra’s group MD of networks.

The trial used two technologies that will be key to achieving very high throughput and supporting very large numbers of devices: beam steering technology, which directs a mobile signal straight to a device rather than sending it out in all directions, or to a particular sector as it does today; and secondly a massive multiple-input multiple-output, using multiple antennas: the trial used 64 on each of the user device and the base station.

Wright said many current cellular standards had been developed on the other side of the world with little input from Australia, and little consideration given to Australian requirements.

“Now, for the first time with 5G we have the technology coming to Australia in time to have some of the Australian requirements fed in.” – Stuart Corner

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