Vodafone and Nokia reach 5 Gbps in live public 5G trial in Australia
Vodafone Australia and Nokia clocked speeds of up to 5 Gbps and latency of 3 ms in a live public 5G trial in Sydney.
Using 200 MHz of spectrum, Vodafone Australia and Nokia successfully conducted on Wednesday a live public 5G trial at Sydney’s University of Technology (UTS). The tests produced speeds of up to 5 Gigabits per second (Gbps), equivalent to a 50 gigabytes (GB) season of Game of Throne series being downloaded in high definition in just 10 seconds. The tests also achieved latency of just 3 milliseconds (ms). “5G will to propel a technological revolution,” said Vodafone chief technology officer (CTO) Kevin Millroy. “With IoT promising to change all of our lives, it calls for a technology which can handle an immense amount of simultaneous connections, far greater than the capabilities of 4G networks.”
Vodafone and Nokia showcased applications including operating robotic arms controlling a ping-pong ball on a tilting table and a virtual reality (VR) demonstration using Nokia’s own OZO 360-degree virtual reality camera. Nokia and Vodafone showed the transmission of eight simultaneous streams of VR content with a throughput of up to 1.5 Gbps, claiming that a full speed of 4.5 Gbps can be achieved over the system.
5G evolution underway
In preparation for 5G, Vodafone has already migrated 550 sites to its fibre transmission network. Vodafone’s CTO Kevin Millroy highlighted the growing importance of 5G to support higher volumes of data traffic, while emphasizing that 4G still has many good years ahead of it. “While our 4G network is better than ever, and is continually improving, at these growth rates, the industry is searching for a solution to support higher volumes of data traffic,” he said. “5G will enable our customers to use more data in more ways, at faster speeds than ever before.”
Australia’s 5G race is on
Judging by the multiplication of “5G-firsts” announcements, the 5G race in Australia is definitely on. Vodafone said the live public 5G trial that took place on Wednesday is Australia’s first, a claim also put forward by Telstra in September as it announced live 5G radio test beds in Melbourne in partnership with Nokia competitor Ericsson. The trial system tested by Ericsson and Telstra used 800 megahertz of spectrum and achieved aggregate speeds of over 20 Gbps. “Today we conducted the first live 5G trial on Australian soil, and did so in a real world, outdoor environment. This provided a truly realistic view of what 5G will be able to offer,” Telstra’s CTO Philip Jones said at the time.
Vodafone and Telstra competitor Optus has also partnered with Nokia on 5G and is planning a 5G trial using spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band. “There is a global race to explore and develop 5G technology, and in Australia, Optus is well positioned to lead in this space with our ownership of 3.5GHz, and close partnerships with our vendors including Nokia,” said Tay Soo Meng, group chief technology officer at Optus parent Singtel, as the partnership was announced.
IIoT News Recap: Infineon to make Lidar affordable following Innoluce acquisition; Autonomous two-seaters hit the streets of Milton Keynes; Munich Re’s HSB acquires IIoT startup Meshify; Today’s forecast: Smart thermostats sales in Western Europe
Autonomous driving: Infineon to make Lidar affordable following Innoluce acquisition
German semiconductor company Infineon Technologies has acquired Philips’ spin-off Innoluce, a Netherlands-based fabless semiconductor company, which know-how it will use to develop chip components for high-performance lidar systems. The terms of the transaction are confidential. “With this acquisition, we take a big step into the lidar technology that will play an important role in the safety cocoon essential to fully automated cars,” said Peter Schiefer, president of the Automotive division at Infineon. “We intend to make lidar an affordable feature for every new-built car worldwide”. Infineon believes that semiconductor-based lidar systems will be more cost-effective, compact and robust as opposed to “bulky” and expensive mechanical scanning mirrors.
Autonomous driving: Autonomous two-seaters hit the streets of Milton Keynes
Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), which plans to roll out 40 autonomous driving (AD) vehicles, released autonomous two-seaters in a pedestrian zone in Milton Keynes, north of London, AFP reports. “The special thing about today is that this is the first time that a self-driving vehicle has been tested in a public place in Britain,” said Neil Fulton, programme director at TSC. The two-seaters drive at speeds of around five miles per hour and, unlike existing systems, rely on a “Selenium” autonomy software developed by Oxford University, rather than on GPS. “The way it works is that the vehicle experiences its environment and interprets what it sees around it in the context of what it has seen before,” said Ingmar Posner, who leads Oxford University’s Oxford Robotics Institute. The technology will also be piloted in London’s Greenwich borough next year.
M&A: Munich Re’s HSB acquires IIoT startup Meshify
Munich Re subsidiary Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB) has acquired Meshify, a startup specialized in technology that connects disconnected devices through the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Munich Re announced. “HSB is committed to delivering the technology and services that help businesses and insurers meet the challenges of a connected world and other emerging technologies,” said Greg Barats, president and chief executive officer of HSB. “Meshify’s simple and flexible IoT platform is different than other applications and is uniquely suited to help HSB build its IoT capabilities to meet our customers’ needs.” Meshify has developed a cloud-based IoT platform that basically can make any device smart and provide real-time monitoring and alerts.
Today’s forecast: More than one million smart thermostats sold in Western Europe by 2020
Park Associates estimates that sales of smart thermostats in Western Europe will exceed one million units by 2020, compared to under 700,000 units in 2016. “The market for smart thermostats, which has grown to 9 percent of U.S. broadband households in the past five years, will soon expand to smart water heater controllers,” said Tom Kerber, director, IoT Strategy at Parks Associates. “While the economics are not as favorable as those that smart thermostats have enjoyed, the potential is strong enough to cause major appliance makers in the traditionally conservative industry of water heaters to invest in smart technology.”