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Vodafone to trial 5G in 2016

Vodafone has announced that it will be trialling 5G technology on its network at the end of 2016, racing to beat rival company Telstra. Both companies intend to roll out 5G in 2020.

“We’re going to get our first glimpse of this toward the back end of this year,” said Kevin Millroy, the company’s acting chief technology officer (CTO).

“We’re working with a number of our partners at the moment, so there’s not going to be any announcement as to who we’re working with, but it will be our first opportunity to see and experience what a customer will get with a 5G offering. [However] the actual network will not be there until 2020.”

Outgoing CTO Benoit Hanssen said Vodafone will be one of the first telco companies to launch a standardised 5G offering.

Meanwhile, the company is also focusing on narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), having completed trials for the technology in April this year. Earlier this week the company also released its IoT Barometer 2016, a global survey measuring business sentiment around innovation and investment in the IoT.

“Almost half the companies surveyed across multiple countries and sectors told us they’re already planning to bring connected network intelligence to millions of devices and processes over the next two years,” said Stuart Kelly, Vodafone Australia’s general manager of enterprise.

“The Australian market from an IoT standpoint is expected to go beyond AU$1 billion in revenues by 2021; worldwide, there’ll be 20 billion devices connected to the internet based upon IoT. We’re at the early stages of IoT, but the network team are laying the foundations for us to lead the market in this space.

“Worldwide, Vodafone Group are the number one players when it comes to M2M and IoT, and we need to take that capability and bring it into the Australian market.”

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