Telia, TalTech University and Ericsson have launched Estonia’s first 5G network. It will be used as a testbed for local companies and the university.
The 5G network will be a permanent installation using standardised and commercial 5G products. The news comes just a few weeks after Telia and Ericsson launched Sweden's first 5G network using standardised radio and core products.
To kick things off, in late December the first 4K video live stream was transmitted from the Old Town Christmas market in Estonia’s capital, Tallinn. Kirke Saar, CTO at Telia Estonia, said, “As far as we know, up until now, 4K has never been transmitted live in Estonia or its neighbouring countries, and our 5G network did an excellent job of transmitting the stream."
Towards commercial 5G
Andrus Durejko, Head of Ericsson Estonia, called the launch “an important step toward launching early commercial 5G services” in Estonia.
Next, TalTech plans to use the testbed for its self-driving car initiative, using 5G’s high speed and low latency to communicate with the surrounding infrastructure. Telia plans to launch 5G for residential customers in 2019, Saar said.
“A thousand steps into the future”
Saar commented, “We hope to see new and exciting future services and business models built upon 5G. Thus, different stakeholders are welcome to test the possibilities of the new technology at the TalTech University. It is the perfect place for this, combining technical knowledge, smart people and cooperation experiences with very different partners. Additionally, 5G technology supports our newly opened NB-IoT network which now has its first commercial user.”
Jaak Aaviksoo, the Rector of TalTech, added: “[5G] will open limitless opportunities for communication in a virtual world. TalTech, Telia and Ericsson take this step together because we believe in the creativity of both scientists and students in using this platform and generating new ideas. 5G means a thousand steps into the future for the whole Estonia".