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Telstra and Ericsson have set up what they say is one of the world's first 5G radio test beds in Melbourne, and staged a public demonstration of its capabilities, outside Telstra's Global Operations Center.

Telstra's Chief Technology Officer, Philip Jones said: 'This is the first 5G trial on Australian soil, and the outdoor nature of the test has provided a true sense of what 5G will be able to offer customers once it is launched commercially.'

Telstra demonstrated downstream speeds totally 20Gbps to two mobile devices using 800MHz of spectrum in the 15GHz band.

Telstra's Group Managing Director Networks, Mike Wright, said lower latency (the time it takes to send a signal from your mobile, to the network, and then get it back again) of 5G would be one of its most important benefits, enabling 5G to support industrial applications and the Internet of Things (IoT).

'We know this lower latency will have a huge impact on future gaming and immersive experiences, virtual and augmented reality, and IoT,' Wright said. 'The results we have seen are extremely promising, particularly at this early stage of the technology.'

The demonstration used 64 way MIMO and beam steering, which Telstra described as 'an important technology that directs a mobile signal straight to a device rather than sending it out in all directions or to a particular sector as it does today.'

Wright said: 'Today's event demonstrated the accuracy beam steering can achieve as a result of less interference and a higher quality signal, which will provide more capacity and ultimately a better network performance for our customers.'

Dr Magnus Ewerbring, Chief Technology Officer Ericsson Asia-Pacific, said: 'Ericsson and Telstra have a long history of partnering for innovation, these early 5G trials will help drive the global standards that will ultimately cover 5G.

'The demonstration is a key milestone in the extension of collaboration efforts between Telstra and Ericsson to ensure Australia is ready for 5G. While major deployment of 5G is not expected until 2020, work around standards, testing, and spectrum is ongoing and Telstra, in partnership with Ericsson, is at the forefront of these developments.'

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