Vodafone and Nokia conduct Australia's first live public 5G trial

Vodafone today conducted the first live public 5G demonstration in Australia, with Nokia at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

The trial took place in front of media, students and staff of UTS. They witnessed potential applications including controlling a robot, a virtual reality demonstration and speed tests using 5G capabilities.

Speeds: Using 200 MHz of spectrum, the tests produced speeds of up to 5 Gbps. To put those speeds into perspective, an entire television series such as Game of Thrones can be downloaded in high definition in just 10 seconds.1

Latency: The tests also showed latency, which is crucial to the future of the Internet of Things (IoT), was just 3 ms. Latency refers to the speed in which a packet of data gets from one device to another. This becomes crucial in technology such as connected vehicles, where live updates of a car’s position can be communicated to other vehicles.

Virtual Reality: Virtual reality (VR) will be one of the biggest benefactors of 5G, which was demonstrated at the trial through footage recorded with Nokia’s OZO 360 degree virtual reality camera. The VR trial shows the transmission of 8 simultaneous streams of VR content, achieving throughout of up to 1.5Gbps. A full speed of 4.5Gbps is possible over the system.

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.

“5G will to propel a technological revolution,” Mr Millroy said. “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.”

He emphasised that while Vodafone’s 4G network2 will be around for many years to come, there’s a growing importance for 5G as consumer demand for data continues to grow at faster rates than ever.

“We see compounding annual data growth rates of around 40%, which we expect will skyrocket as more everyday things become connected to the internet,” Mr Millroy said.

“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.

“5G will enable our customers to use more data in more ways, at faster speeds than ever before.”

He added that Vodafone is already gearing up for the deployment of 5G, with more than 550 sites already migrated to Vodafone’s fibre transmission network.

Nokia’s Managing Director, Oceania, Ray Owen, said that 5G will significantly affect every industry, creating new and exciting opportunities.

“5G is the next generation of radio systems and network architecture that will enable significant new use cases, new business opportunities and new ways for people to benefit from communications,” Mr Owen said.

“It won’t happen overnight, but 5G is a change that will ultimately impact every industry. That’s why we’re working with network operators and industry players to create an ecosystem that is 5G-ready and enabled to turn technical capabilities into business solutions.

“Nokia is at the forefront of global 5G innovation and standardisation and we work closely with operators, such as Vodafone, around the world to ensure they are best positioned for the future.”

5G research is a very dynamic area in academia worldwide and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) leads the research efforts in Australia on several projects covering antenna design, development of systems and networks, and innovative solutions to enable Internet of Things deployment with 5G.  UTS is also host to the Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IoTAA).

“UTS is uniquely placed in Australia to conduct 5G research, with a large team of world-class researchers combining extensive industry and academic experience in world-class research facilities,” said Professor Eryk Dutkiewicz, Head of the School of Computing and Communications, Faculty of Engineering and Information technology (FEIT).

“Innovations created by UTS researchers working with industry partners are contributing to emerging 5G international standards, and we will be further testing 5G technology solutions for their deployment in the Australian market and beyond.”

-Ends-

Notes to editor

  • 1: Methodology used for download speed involves downloading a 50GB season of Game of Thrones in Full HD at a speed of 5Gb/s.
  • 2 : 4G: Our 4G coverage is available in all major metro locations and selected regional areas across Australia. 4G is available with a 4G device and an active prepaid recharge or plan with Vodafone alerts. Outside Vodafone 4G areas, broadband speeds are available in Vodafone’s 3G zones. Broadband service: Check your device is compatible with the coverage areas you will use. Quality of some services may vary depending on location, device capabilities and network limitations. See vodafone.com.au/coverage for details.