Ericsson has entered a partnership with Australia's Telstra to test 5G technology at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Telstra revealed plans for the network test at a briefing ahead of Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, stating that the company plans to launch a 5G network in time for the technology's anticipated commercialization in 2020.
News.com.au reports that Telstra expects to commence field testing of 5G technologies in Australia later this year.
Telstra aims to contribute to the standardization of 5G to help ensure that the technology accommodates for the large distances typical of the Australian market.
The operator also aims to conduct a 1Gbps upgrade of its parts of its existing 4G network in Australia's largest cities Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this year, which will include the launch of what is expected to be the first Category 16 LTE device to launch commercially.
Telstra and Ericsson have also used the event to announce a contract to deploy a full stack telecom cloud solution for Telstra's network, as part of efforts to ready the network for the IoT and 5G.
Ericsson separately announced an agreement with SingTel to trial license assisted access (LAA) technology over SingTel's network.
Starting next month the partners will collaborate to test the use of unlicensed spectrum combined with licensed LTE frequencies.
SingTel group CTO Tay Soo Meng said the collaboration forms part of SingTel's own preparations for the 5G era.
“By 2020 5G will be here, and we are committed to identifying ways to prepare our network for this new technology. The use of LAA to boost 4G speeds is an interesting concept which can provide faster and more effective LTE connections to our customers, especially in dense indoor environments,” he said.
“As part of our goal to be one of the first operators in the world to deploy 5G, SingTel is collaborating with Ericsson to trial network innovations.”
Ericsson is adding LAA to its indoor small cell portfolio.