Australian mobile network operator, Vodafone, is set to move into the fixed-line world, with plans to offer fixed broadband services to its consumer and enterprise customers.
The service will be delivered via the National Broadband Network (NBN) by the end of 2017, reflecting a timely and “natural progression” for the telco, according to Vodafone Hutchison Australia chief executive, Iñaki Berroeta.
“It’s anticipated that four million Australian homes will be NBN-ready by the end of next year, so the project is reaching a scale where it provides the platform to deliver a service that complements our mobile network,” he said.
The NBN is expected to give Vodafone the ability to deliver more data to fulfil high levels of customer demand, reflected by the 14,000 terabytes worth of usage on its mobile network each month.
“The NBN rollout is gaining momentum and there is strong consumer demand for continuous connectivity. This is a natural progression for our business, and we expect that through a fixed broadband service, Vodafone will become an even stronger competitive force in the Australian telecommunications market," Berroeta added.
The announcement comes days after the telco, in partnership with Nokia, conducted its first live public 5G demonstration. The tests produced speeds of up to 5Gbps, using 200 MHz of spectrum.
Vodafone chief technology officer, Kevin Millroy said that 5G will be a fundamental leap forward in mobile network technology, bringing with it the power of the Internet of Things (IoT).
“5G will to propel a technological revolution. With IoT promising to change all of our lives, it calls for a technology which can handle an immense amount of simultaneous connections, far greater than the capabilities of 4G networks.”
While Vodafone’s 4G network will be around for many years to come, Millroy emphasised the growing importance for 5G as consumer demand for data continues to grow at faster rates than ever before.
“We see compounding annual data growth rates of around 40 per cent, which we expect will skyrocket as more everyday things become connected to the internet.
“While our 4G network is better than ever, and is continually improving, at these growth rates, the industry is searching for a solution to support higher volumes of data traffic,” he said.