Ericsson is deploying a welter of new LTE functionality for Australian operator Telstra, from LTE Broadcast to VoLTE, as it announced plans to collaborate on 5G and virtualisation field trials.
The wide-ranging partnership will see the Swedish vendor deliver tri-band carrier aggregation by bringing in Telstra's recently acquired 700MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum to deliver speeds of 450MBps.
The vendor will also hold a trial of its VoLTE software in April 2015, offering Telstra customers voice and video calling over LTE, with a full commercial launch scheduled for the later in the year.
Håkan Eriksson, Head of Ericsson Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, said: “Mobile broadband users expect a high-quality user experience and with the deployment of super-fast data services and IP-based communication services using the latest generation Ericsson radio and core network solutions, Telstra will be able to deliver a superior user experience to their customers.”
Meanwhile, Telstra will deploy Ericsson's LTE Broadcast solution after a series of trials last year. Ericsson said it can broadcast to Telstra's entire user base with traffic only using as little as 10 percent of a 20MHz carrier.
Telstra said it was planning to roll out the technology at key venues and major events, initially in a beta phase ahead of a customer rollout in 2015.
Both companies have set up a centre of excellence to speed up the deployment of software defined networking and network functions virtualisation across Telstra's network.
The centre will work on proofs of concept and trials for different types of applications on programmable networks. Both companies will test and verify Ericsson's virtual Evolved Packet Core, as part of the partnership.
The trial is scheduled to end in September 2015 and is hoped with provide Telstra with greater network flexibility and efficiencies.
Ericsson said it would use the findings to add to wider standardisation projects and activities with global tier one operators.
Finally, the companies will explore 5G, ensuring the developing 3GPP standards meet the needs of operators. Telstra engineers will work on Ericsson's 5G test bed in Sweden. The vendor will hold a field trial in Australia to show live experience of the technology.
The two companies will also run a proof of concept for machine type communications (MTC), as specified in 3GPP Release 13. MTC is seen as an enabler of the Internet of Things, improving the likes of range, battery life and size.
The cooperation will begin by the end of June. Mike Wright, Group Managing Director Networks, Telstra, said: “While a 5G world is some time away, it is important to begin key foundational work now to help us to better understand this emerging new technology and what it can do for customers across Australia and the world."