Mobile operator Telstra has teamed up with tech firms Ericsson and Intel to place the first 5G mobile data call in Australia using a commercial network.
The test, which took place at Telstra's 5G Innovation Centre, was the first of its kind to use the 3.5Hz spectrum and bring together all the core components from multiple companies that will be required to make the next generation of mobile network a practical reality for consumers in Australia.
In order to complete the call, technologies used in the test included Telstra's 5G NSA commercial network and licensed 3.5GHz commercial spectrum, Ericsson’s commercial 5G radio, baseband and packet core for 5G, a personal Telstra SIM card and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial platform.
Mike Wright, group managing director of networks at Telstra, commented: “Demonstrating this 5G data call end-to-end using my own personal SIM card on Telstra's mobile network is the closest any network provider has come to making a true 5G call in the real world environment, and marks another 5G first for Telstra.”
Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice-president and head of networks at Ericsson, added that the latest developments highlight that 5G is quickly becoming a commercial reality in Australia. He said it highlights the progress that has been made, taking the technology from initial lab tests to full commercial environments.
The companies involved in the test will continue to demonstrate 5G capabilities across a wide range of use cases in the coming months, ahead of the expected launch of Australia's first commercial 5G network by Telstra in 2019.
When the technology does become available, consumers can expect to enjoy much faster speeds for mobile data, potentially up to 50 times faster than those currently offered by 4G networks. This may allow them to enjoy services such as 4K video and virtual reality wherever they are.