Telecommunications company, Telstra, in partnership with Ericsson, has revealed plans to make a series of mobile advancements in 2016 that will bring faster speeds and features to Australians and lay the foundations for the launch of 5G services.
The new, upcoming innovations will allow Telstra customers to do more on their mobile, faster, with the launch of its 1Gbps network and compatible device, enjoy better in-home calling coverage with the introduction of Voice over Wi-Fi; and experience better face to face communications with the introduction of next-generation video calling over LTE.
Following a successful demonstration of 1Gbps capabilities in an end-to-end commercial network in December 2015, the Telstra network will be enabled to support 1Gbps speeds in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane CBD areas in readiness for commercial devices later in 2016.
Telstra confirmed it is working with Netgear to launch the first commercial 1Gbps capable mobile broadband device later in 2016.
As for Voice over Wi-Fi, Telstra will launch it for customers with compatible VoLTE handsets, enhancing their in-home coverage using their fixed broadband Wi-Fi gateway. The technology hands voice calls between a fixed broadband gateway and Telstra’s VoLTE enabled 4G service on Telstra’s mobile network. In future, this will evolve to include video calling.
In the second half of 2016, Telstra will also launch the next generation of video calling with the introduction of Video over LTE (ViLTE). ViLTE will enable customers with compatible devices to make video calls direct from their dial pad or contacts list. Customers will be able to switch between their voice and high quality video mid call and set up video calls with groups.
Telstra Group networks managing director, Mike Wright, said continuous innovation was central to offering customers with an improved mobile experience.
“Our customers are among some of the most sophisticated and advanced mobile users in the world and it isessential that we continue to be at the forefront of innovation to provide consistent, reliable and fast mobile voice and data services for our customers.
“Having recently extended our strategic partnership with Ericsson, we are confident that we will continue to deliver valuable, next generation products and services to our customers in Australia for many years to come,” he said.
In addition, the company, in partnership with Ericsson, will deploy a 5G trial service on its mobile network in parts of the Gold Coast, for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
This extensive collaboration includes the secondment of Telstra engineers to Ericsson’s Research Lab in Sweden for six months. The Telstra team will be working with Ericsson Research to collect data and build the mathematical models of the radio signals that will be used for proposed new 5G radio spectrums.
Using this data, Telstra, in collaboration with research partners, will further develop radio models specifically for the Australian environment for inclusion in the international standardisation process.
Ericsson A/NZ head, Emilio Romeo, said Telstra and Ericsson have collaborated on each generation of wireless technology.
“Our 5G collaboration with Telstra will provide valuable input as we work to standardise and develop our 5G solutions.
“A 5G ready core network with virtualisation and SDN not only prepares for 5G but also provides the flexibility, programmability, and agility needed to efficiently serve today’s 4G consumer and enterprise customers with tailored network slices, improved access to media and compelling IoT solutions,” Romeo said.