Telstra is looking ahead to 5G, revealing at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that its first 5G trial will take place at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.Telstra Operations group managing director of networks Mike Wright has advised via a blog post that the telco’s partnership with Ericsson will see it use the trial as a step towards its 5G roll-out.
“Our experiences with the trial will help move us even closer to our goal of rolling out a full-scale 5G service on Telstra’s mobile network in Australia,” Wright wrote.
Recent 5G trials conducted at Ericsson’s labs in Sweden had demonstrated “speeds of more than 11 Gbps in a complex, real-world, indoor setting”.
While the push is on to 5G, in the more immediate future Telstra’s mobile network is set to “be enabled to support 1 Gbps speeds in select sites across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane CBDs in anticipation of a new device which will support these speeds being released later in 2016”.
Telstra is also set to launch Voice over Wi-Fi in the first half of the year, which works by handing mobile phone calls between its 4G and home broadband service, while later in the year the next-gen video calling service Video over LTE (ViLTE) is slated for release.
ViLTE, an extension of Telstra’s VoLTE service, “will allow customers with compatible mobiles to make high-quality video calls”, as they would a regular call.
“Customers will be able to switch between their voice and video mid-call and setup video calls with groups too,” Wright wrote. “Initially it will be available for Telstra customers making calls within Australia on ViLTE-compatible handsets.”