Ericsson, Telstra and Intel heralded a milestone in 5G development after completing a data call on a commercial network based on 3GPP non-standalone (NSA) specifications, ten days after completing similar work in a laboratory.
In a statement, the Sweden-based network vendor said completion of the end-to-end call pushes 5G into a real-world environment. The trial was conducted at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre in Gold Coast, Australia, and used the operator’s commercial 5G NSA network; the SIM of group MD Mike Wright; and licensed 3.5GHz spectrum and 4G spectrum at 2.1GHz.
Wright said the test “is the closest any provider has come to making a true 5G call”.
Ericsson contributed a base station comprising its Baseband 6630, AIR 6488, and 4G and 5G system software. It also supplied a virtualised 5G packet core which was used to insert a 5G slice into Telstra’s mobile network.
Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and head of networks at Ericsson, said completing the data call “shows the progress we’ve made from testing the technology in a lab to a 5G commercial network environment”.
Intel provided its 5G Mobile Trial Platform, which is compliant with 3GPP Release 15 specifications for NSA, a 4G module and “5G NSA implementation”.
The partners said further tests are in the pipeline as Telstra prepares to launch commercial service in 2019.
Telstra was one of 18 service providers which took part in a lab-based data call at an Ericsson facility in Sweden on 6 July, in which a bi-directional call on both down- and uplink streams was demonstrated.
The Australian operator opened its 5G Innovation Centre in February and subsequently used the facility to enable what it called 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots on two Gold Coast streets, along with a connected car.