5G is out of the lab and into a real-world mobile network environment

Ericsson, Telstra and Intel on Monday said they had completed the first 5G non-standalone 3GPP data call on a commercial mobile network.

Byron Connolly Jul 17th 2018
5g-data.jpg

Ericsson, Telstra and Intel on Monday said they had completed the first 5G non-standalone 3GPP data call on a commercial mobile network.

The call was completed at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on Australia's Gold Coast and marks the day that 5G is out of the lab and into a real-world mobile network environment, the companies said.

The call was the first of its kind over 3.5GHz spectrum, using components from multiple companies including Ericsson's commercial 5G NR radio 6488, baseband and packet core for 5G EPC, a personal Telstra SIM card, and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform for the 5G NR UE.

This follows the July 6 lab-based data call made by the trio and other service providers at the Ericssson Lab in Stockholm in Sweden.

Telstra’s outgoing group managing director, networks, Mike Wright, said the demonstration is the closest any provider has come to making a ‘true’ 5G call in a real-world environment.

“We continue to work with global technology companies Ericsson and Intel as well as global standards bodies to advance the deployment of commercial 5G capability in Australia,” Wright said.

Telstra boss Andrew Penn said in a blog that once standards, new spectrum and 5G-capable devices are ready, the telco will then rollout commercial 5G capability nationally to capital cities, regional centres and other high demand areas.

Telstra opened the Gold Coast 5G innovation centre in February to test next-generation mobile technologies in Australian conditions to support the early commercial deployment of 5G services across the country.

It is part of $5 billion the telco is investing in three years to June 30 next year to upgrade its mobile network, acquire spectrum and lay the foundations for 5G.