Australia’s Telstra has confirmed it will undertake a demonstration in September 2016 with vendor Ericsson, aiming to ‘look at 5G capabilities in a real world environment’. In a blog post, Telstra’s group MD for network, Mike Wright, said that his company will be the first in the country to trial Ericsson’s 5G radio test bed, with a view to testing the expected high speeds and ultra-low latency, as well as Multi-User Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO). The demonstration will also reportedly test beam steering technology, which is designed to optimise mobile signals with less interference resulting in better network performance and more capacity.
Telstra confirmed details of other collaborations with Ericsson, meanwhile, revealing that it has been embedding some of its employees into the vendor’s 5G Research teams in Sweden to develop the 5G radio channel models and to train its engineers in the fundamentals of fifth generation radio operations. Further, Telstra also highlighted a recent radio test at Ericsson’s 5G experience centre which it said had delivered download speeds of greater than 20Gbps in the lab.
In terms of prepping its infrastructure, Telstra said it has started modernising its wireless core network in preparation for 5G with network function virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) technologies. It claimed by doing so this would allow it to support increased network configuration and deployment flexibility to different market segments, and to tailor their wireless connectivity through Network Slicing. Looking ahead, the operator is continuing plans to deploy its first 5G trial on the Gold Coast in 2018.
With regards to Telstra’s other 5G-related activities, the telco has been contributing to the international 5G industry standards ‘to ensure that the upcoming technologies are suited to [its] expansive rural environments, and take into account Australia’s unique flora in the 5G channel modelling to provide the best possible experience for our customers’.