Vodafone Australia to carry out 5G lab tests this year
Ericsson and Huawei partnering with Vodafone on 5G testing
Australian mobile telephony operator Vodafone announced plans to carry out lab trials of 5G technologies on its network by the end of the year, local press reported.
Acting Chief Technology Officer Kevin Millroy said that the telco would work with a number of equipment suppliers including Chinese vendor Huawei and Sweden-based company Ericsson on the trials.
Vodafone Australia confirmed lab tests would start in the last quarter of this year. Production trials are scheduled closer to the 2020 deployment, around 2018 or 2019.
“This will be the first opportunity to see and experience what a customer will get with a 5G offering,” Millroy said.
However, the executive said that the telco’s 5G network will not be deployed until 2020. “We’ve still got a 4G network that we have to ensure continues to deliver the great service that it has been delivering,” he added.
Rival operator Telstra recently announced plans to launch a commercial 5G services in 2020 following production trials in 2018.
In the U.K., Vodafone Group said it was working with Huawei to lay the foundations of 5G by 2020. The companies are currently undertaking technical trials of 4×4 versions of Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) combined with multi-user beam forming to improve performance in heavily built-up areas.
Vodafone Australia initially launched commercial LTE services in 2013 and currently offers the service through spectrum in the 850 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. The telco also launched VoLTE services in January 2016.
Almost 80% of Australian firms believes IoT is key for future success
In related news, a recent report by Vodafone revealed that 78% of Australian companies believe that the internet of things (IoT) is critical for future success of organisations in their sector.
According to Vodafone’s fourth annual IoT Barometer report, 51% of these companies are planning to launch new connected solutions in the next 12 months.
“Across the world, IoT is becoming one of the most important areas in which businesses are investing,” said Vodafone Hutchison Australia Executive General Manager of Enterprise, Stuart Kelly.
“In Australia, we can see that same sentiment is strongly reflected, however the Barometer report shows that local businesses are lacking the expertise and confidence to properly embrace it. This is where we want to help.”