Technology is enabling new opportunities and use cases every day, and operators are speeding up their journey to 5G to ensure they have the network capacity, quality and new functionality required to grab the attractive business opportunities of the years to come.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, by 2023 we expect to see an eightfold increase in mobile data traffic, 8 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 1.8 billion cellular IoT devices in the world. A growth like this will be challenging for today’s networks worldwide to cope with.
To support more usage, more people, more things, and more business combined with the ever-increasing performance requirements, Telstra, the leading telecommunications service provider in Australia, has accelerated their move to 5G and Ericsson has been there to support its strategic partner in yet another groundbreaking milestone for the country.
An Australian-first center for 5G innovations
Last February, Telstra opened its 5G Innovation Centre at the Telstra Southport exchange on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The center, inaugurated as a home for testing the next generation of mobile technologies in Australian conditions and to support the early commercial deployment of 5G, has been a tremendous statement of Telstra’s technology leadership. Only one month later, two new use cases were launched at the center:
The world’s first precinct of 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots, which allows Gold Coast locals and visitors to enjoy free broadband. Since there are no user devices yet that could support 5G, we are using this technology as a powerful backhaul connection for the hotspots. Users can then connect to fast speeds using the all-familiar Wi-Fi.
- 5G Connected Car. Though still in its early stages, it is already achieving download speeds close to 1Gbps inside the car and while on the move. The vehicle is also equipped with a Wi-Fi access point. What amazes me the most about this one, is that at the start of the year, our 5G prototype device was the size of a fridge and over 200 kilograms. Now, though not yet fully “portable”, with the help of Intel it has been shrunk down to the size of a personal computer which fits in the car, using Intel’s 5G Automotive Trial Platform, one of the most advanced 5G prototype devices available in the world today.
The 5G business potential is strong for both consumers and industries
It is really exciting to see how 5G is already delivering on its strong technological promises and potential for new business. In Ericsson, we believe that Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) is a natural evolution of an operators’ current business, and hence the first of several use case categories that will become a reality in 5G. Telstra’s activities are testament to that.
In a 5G-enabled world, the innovations will not stop here; use cases depending on several technical benefits like low latency, ultra-high speeds and high reliability will enable new business cases for mobile operators. Once we go beyond the consumer use cases and move into the industrial applications, our studies have shown that the opportunities are limitless and that there is a 5G business potential for added revenues that in the case of Australian operators will represent an additional 48 percent on top of traditional service revenues by 2026. These are exciting times and we have just started to see the beginning of this revolution.
By Emilio Romeo, Managing Director, Ericsson Australia and New Zealand