Telstra has selected Ericsson to support its ‘Network of the Future’ transformation strategy, with the vendor agreeing to assist in numerous programmes, including: a nationwide optical network transformation and expansion; 5G New Radio (NR) trials leading to early 5G launch readiness; and the deployment of Australia’s largest Internet of Things (IoT) network via the deployment of Cat-M1 functionality.
In a press release outlining the plans, Ericsson confirmed it will deliver a three-year optical transmission network and rollout plan to expand Telstra’s long haul, metro and regional optical networks. Under the contract the Swedish vendor will supply, install and integrate the next generation of converged packet-optical solutions from Ciena, with it claimed the solution will have ‘the resiliency, speed and security to meet expected traffic growth, and support critical IoT and 5G traffic, along with cloud and media services’. Meanwhile, Telstra, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies will conduct interoperability testing and an over-the-air field trial based on the expected 5G NR specifications being developed by 3GPP, which will form the basis of the global standards. These trials in Australia are said to be aiming to accelerate commercialisation of the global 3GPP 5G standard to drive the 5G ecosystem towards scale. Finally, with Telstra said to be looking to enable an IoT footprint which is among the largest in the world, it has commenced localised Cat-M1 trials with Ericsson in Melbourne and Tasmania, while device partners in the Tasmanian trial were named as Sierra Wireless, Altair and Bosch.
Commenting on the raft of technology development plans, Mike Wright, Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, was cited as saying: ‘These projects lay the foundations of the programme we described in October 2016 and provide the foundation for Telstra’s Network of the Future programme which is essential to delivering our customers a brilliantly connected future … Our expanded optical network will support important emerging network capabilities such as IoT, 5G and enhanced media delivery.’