Telstra today opened a 5G Innovation Centre at its Southport Exchange on the Gold Coast where it will test next generation mobile technologies in Australian conditions to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia.
Last week Optus revealed plans to launch their 5G network in early 2019 in key metro areas.
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The Telstra 5G Innovation Centre is central to a $60 million investment the telco has made to upgrade infrastructure on the Gold Coast to support growing demand and major events in the area. This is part of the $5 billion Telstra is investing in the three years to 30 June 2019, consistent with its previous capital expenditure guidance, to upgrade and expand its mobile network, acquire spectrum and lay the foundations for 5G.
Chief Operations Officer, Robyn Denholm, said Telstra had established the Gold Coast 5G Innovation Centre to ensure Australia is among the first countries in the world to gain access to 5G.
“Telstra has already conducted Australia’s first 5G field trial and the world’s first 5G outdoor data call over 26GHz ‘mmWave’ radiofrequency spectrum. From our new 5G Innovation Centre we will be completing a number of 5G firsts in 2018 to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of mobile technology,” Denholm said.
“5G has the potential to transform the way we all live and work. Like previous generations of mobile technology it will deliver more capacity and faster data speeds but on top of that it will support vastly more connected devices at very high levels of reliability and lower latency.
“5G will take us from a world of connecting people to each other and the internet to a world of ultra-fast mobile speeds and the Internet of Things on a mass scale. These enhancements will unleash a host of new opportunities – everything from smart cities and smart homes, to drones and driverless cars, to augmented reality in both entertainment and at work.
“For example, drones can operate over 4G today but when the ultra-high reliability and incredibly low latency of 5G becomes available more sophisticated applications will be possible, such as drone swarms and autonomous drones that can communicate and adjust behaviour based on real-time data inputs.
“5G readiness is part of building Networks for the Future, a key pillar of the up to $3 billion in incremental investment we are making to transform the way we deliver services and bring new products to market. This investment will mean Telstra continues to deliver Australia’s largest and fastest* mobile network.”
Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre is designed to enable collaboration among technology vendors, developers, start-ups and our enterprise customers. Telstra will also conduct 5G field trials in the coming months in and around the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast will be the location for a meeting of 3GPP, the international standard setting body, in September to consider the global standards for 5G.
“We look forward to hosting leading 5G developers from around the world so Australian businesses can begin developing products and services that will take advantage of 5G. Our activities at the Innovation Centre will culminate in the 3GPP meeting later in 2018 that will play a critical role in setting the 5G standards underpinning the launch of commercial services,” Denholm said.
The demonstrations and use cases on show on the Gold Coast today include:
- Australia’s first 5G field trial using a moving vehicle demonstrating how the high bandwidth and low latency of 5G can deliver an immersive view from the driver’s perspective via virtual reality headsets and support autonomous driving.
- A speed test of around 3 Gbps down and 300 Mbps up over mmWave spectrum demonstrating the speed and capacity that will be achieved over 5G and how that will support advanced multimedia applications such as augmented and virtual reality.
- How drones enabled with artificial intelligence can support surf lifesaving and be operated on a mass scale by 5G beam forming technology targeting each drone.
- A robotic arm demonstrating how the ultra-low latency of 5G can support a range of industrial applications requiring precise control.
* Based on national average of combined 3G/4G mobile speeds