Ericsson focuses on speeds in Telstra, Verizon 5G tests

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Ericsson has hits data speeds of more than 10Gbps in separate 5G trials with Telstra and Verizon, it said at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Among a number of 5G announcements, Ericsson said it had achieved 5G speeds of 11Gbps in a “complex, real-world setting” in new trials with Australian operator Telstra at Ericsson’s labs in Sweden. It said the tests used high frequency mm-wave spectrum in preparation of 5G field-testing in Australia later in 2016.

The pair will trial 5G services on parts of Australia’s Gold Coast at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Telstra engineers will work from Ericsson’s Research Lab in Kista, Sweden for six months during 2016 ahead of the trial, Telstra said, to develop local radio models for the 5G standardisation process.

Mike Wright, Managing Director of Networks at Telstra Group, said: “Australia creates radio coverage challenges that stand out as vastly different to anywhere else in the world. Our work with Ericsson will ensure that Australia’s requirements are built into the radio design parameters of 5G from the ground up."

The pair also said at MWC that Telstra is taking a full-stack telecoms cloud solution from Ericsson, covering network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), and bringing network flexibility, agility and cost-efficiency.

The move is a key step to ready Telstra’s core network for 5G and IoT services, they said, and will focus in its early stages on making it ready for next generation services. Other projects in the pipeline involved LTE broadcast, voice over Wi-Fi, video over LTE and 4G speeds of 1GBps. 

Anders Lindblad, Head of Business Unit Cloud and IP at Ericsson, said: “Ericsson's 5G-ready core solution will position Telstra as a leader in telecommunications network virtualisation. Telstra is our lead customer for the full stack telecom cloud, and we trust its thought-leadership will help make our product better.”

Meanwhile, Ericsson achieved more than 10Gbps peak throughput speeds during 5G field trials with US operator Verizon this month.

During tests, its outdoor-mounted 5G radio prototypes supported beamforming, extending the reach of the high frequency bands, and beam tracking, monitoring the quality of connections, and delivered high-definition video streaming to indoor devices, emulating residential and enterprise environments, the company said.

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio at Ericsson, said: “Verizon and Ericsson share a commitment to getting 5G out of the labs and into the neighborhoods where it will live.

“Our 5G Radio Prototypes are very compact, but powerful. They are designed to make it easy for operators to test key features that will contribute to the early adoption of new 5G services.”

Separately, Cisco confirmed at MWC it will start work with Ericsson and Intel, members of its 5G technology Forum, to develop and trial the industry’s first 5G router. It said the 5G router will offer 1GBps speeds via a combination of their expertise in enterprise solutions, network solutions and silicon.

Ericsson announced a number of new products to bridge the gap between LTE and 5G for operators ahead of MWC. Its first product, Mobile Broadband for Everyone, claims to enhance network performance, improve efficiency and lower costs.

It already has 5G research projects and trials with a number of major operators, including Telefónica, AT&T, and TeliaSonera.