Ericsson and Australian mobile network operator Telstra have claimed to have completed the world’s first 5G data call using 26GHz millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum.

The companies said that this is the first time the 26GHz band has been used in the field. It will feature in leading 5G deployments in Europe, Australia and China, and is similar to the 28GHz band used in the US.

A series of trials at a new 5G testing centre will follow this first 5G data call.

Mike Wright, Telstra Group managing director of networks, said the trial shows that the mobile industry is now ready to utilise the mmWave band of spectrum, which is going to be critical for 5G success in Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

He said: “5G will mean we can use more and different spectrum bands to deliver faster speeds, more capacity and lower latency to our customers.

“This will support a range of different applications, everything from data heavy applications like Ultra High Definition (UHD) video and virtual reality (VR), to highly reliable, low latency communications for smart cities and autonomous cars.”

Ericsson explained that trials of mmWave spectrum are also taking place in a number of other countries around the world, including the US, Japan and Korea, where 28GHz and 39GHz spectrum bands are being considered for 5G deployments.

For mobile networks, mmWave spectrum will be an important capacity layer for both 4G and 5G.

Mr Wright went on to say that his company “will conduct further tests with Ericsson to gain further insights into how mmWave 5G can be scaled and integrated into commercial mobile networks”.

Telstra and Ericsson will trial associated 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) technologies at the testing centre, including Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennae with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques and OFDM-based waveforms, in order to align with the global standards.

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