Australia’s Telstra has used Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 to make a number of notable network-related announcements, ZDNet Australia reports.
Firstly, the operator is understood to be partnering with Sweden’s Ericsson to launch what it claims will be the world’s first commercial 1Gbps mobile network. Mike Wright, Telstra Group managing director of Networks, was cited as saying that his company expects to launch a 1Gbps-capable mobile broadband device – the first commercially available – with Netgear this year, noting: ‘The availability of the 1Gbps capability in Telstra’s mobile network will allow us to continue to deliver reliable wireless broadband and media services to our customers in more places, more of the time.’
Telstra’s mobile network within the central business districts (CBDs) of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane will reportedly support download and upload speeds of 1Gbps and 150Mbps, respectively, later this year, following up on those achieved in a demonstration conducted late last year. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Ericsson, Telstra and Qualcomm Technologies confirmed in December 2015 that they had jointly carried out a live demonstration of 4×4 MIMO technology, supporting peak downlink data speeds of up to 380 Mbps, in what they termed ‘a foundational step towards download speeds of 1Gbps in the commercial network’.
Additionally, Telstra has revealed its intention to officially launch voice-over-Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) calling by June, allowing customers with voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)-compatible handsets to use their home Wi-Fi network for voice and video calling. The launch of video-over-LTE (ViLTE) is then expected to follow in the second half of 2016. Telstra is also said to have been working on the roll out of its LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B), confirming it has now brought the technology to more than 3,000 of its 4G cell sites; the operator is expected to use LTE-B capabilities for mass device and application software updates, as well as for caching content and broadcasts at major sporting events.
Rounding out the company’s raft of announcements, Telstra has revealed that it will work with Ericsson on a trial run of its 5G network during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. ‘Building on the work we do in Sweden and in the 5G standardisation process, we will be able to test and exercise a wide range of features, services and network functionality at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast, Australia,’ Wright said of these plans.