Telstra Looks To 5G Future With Ericsson Testing
It may still be a few years away, but Telstra is looking to put the foundations in place ahead of the arrival of 5G technology, with the telco set to test the potential of Ericsson’s 5G radio test bed.
Mike Wright, Telstra Operations group managing director of networks, has advised via a blog post that the 5G radio test bed, sometimes referred to as a 5G trial system, will soon arrive in Australia, with Telstra to run a demonstration in September.
Wright advised that the demonstration “will look at 5G capabilities in a real world environment”.
“We’ll be testing the expected high speeds and ultra-low latency, as well as multi-user MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output),” he wrote. “This is where multiple antennas carry data to and from the end user, which ultimately improves the performance for customers.
“The demonstration will also test beam steering technology, where the beam steering antenna array tracks your location and directs a mobile signal straight to your device rather than sending it out in all directions or to a particular sector as it does today.”
Wright noted that beam steering’s advantage “is that the mobile signal to each user is optimised, with less interference resulting in better network performance and more capacity”.
Wright wrote that Telstra has been embedding employees into Ericsson’s 5G research teams in Sweden, developing 5G radio channel models and training Telstra engineers on the fundamentals of 5G radio operations.
“We also recently conducted 5G radio testing at Ericsson’s 5G experience centre, with tests in the lab delivering download speeds of greater than 20 Gbps,” he wrote. “That’s the equivalent of downloading around 4,000 different HD movies all at the same time.”
Wright added that Telstra is in the process of modernising its wireless core network in preparation for 5G with network function virtualisation and software-defined networking technologies.
Telstra had earlier in the year advised that its first 5G trial will take place at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Ovum recently forecast that there will be 24 million 5G subscriptions worldwide at the end of 2021 for mobile and fixed broadband services.