At Mobile World Congress 2017, Australian operator Telstra announced it has selected Ericsson to support its major “Network of the Future” transformation program.
Ericsson will supply equipment and services to support the program, which includes a nationwide optical network transformation and expansion.
The program will also include 5G new radio (NR) trials, the creation of a new Media Delivery Cloud to complement Telstra's Telco Cloud project and deployment of CAT M1 functionality nationwide to establish Australia's largest IoT network.
Under the agreement, Ericsson will deliver a three-year optical transmission network and rollout plan to expand Telstra's long haul, metro and regional optical networks, supplying and installing converged packet-optical technologies from Ciena.
Ericsson, Telstra and Qualcomm will meanwhile collaborate on interoperability testing and an over-the-air field trial based on the 3GPP's expected 5G NR specifications. Telstra is also a member of the group pushing for accelerated 5G NR standardization
For the IoT initiative, Telstra and Ericsson have now commenced localized CAT-M1 trials in Melbourne and Tasmania in the first stage of a deployment across Telstra's 4G network, which covers over 98% of Australia's population.
"These projects... provide the foundation for Telstra's Network of the Future program, which is essential to delivering our customers a brilliantly connected future,” Telstra group managing director for networks Mike Wright commented.
“Our expanded optical network will support important emerging network capabilities such as IoT, 5G and enhanced media delivery. And our move to virtualization through the Telco and Media Cloud projects will enable us to deliver our customers unique and differentiated services to meet their personal and business needs."
Telstra said its Telco Cloud network is now delivering live traffic. Telstra first announced its network function virtualization infrastructure (NFVi) program at last year's Mobile World Congress and the company has now compled the first video call over a virtualized EPG.