Ericsson, Intel and Telstra do commercial 5G over licensed 3.5 GHz

The trend of networking vendors, modem makers and mobile operators combining to demo commercial 5G continues with Ericsson, Intel and Telstra doing their thing over 3.5 GHz.

Each new demo claims an important incremental step towards doing 5G in real life and this one was no exception. This ménage a trois has already yielded a demo designed to show how great for long-distance gaming 5G will be and more recently the three took part in a bit of multi-vendor lab-based action in Stockholm.

This time they went back to Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre (pictured) and the most significant bit seems to have been the claimed completion of ‘the first end-to-end 5G non-standalone data call on a commercial mobile network’. It was done on Telstra’s licensed 3.5 GHz spectrum, using Ericsson radio, baseband and packet core and Intel’s 5G mobile trial platform.

“Demonstrating this 5G data call end-to-end using my own personal SIM card on Telstra’s mobile network is the closest any provider has come to making a ’true’ 5G call in the real world-environment, and marks another 5G first for Telstra,” said Telstra’s Group Managing Director for Networks, Mike Wright.

“We’re quickly moving towards 5G commercial reality,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Networks at Ericsson. “Achieving the first commercial data call with our partners Telstra and Intel shows the progress we’ve made from testing the technology in a lab to a 5G commercial network environment. 5G is open for business and Ericsson is helping customers get it done.” Someone from Intel said much the same, but with Intel replacing Ericsson in the quote.

Meanwhile Samsung unveiled some 5G kit for 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz, according to a report from ZDNet. Apparently the Korean tech giant want to grab 20% of the global network kit market, which is quite a jump from its current 3%. Samsung seems to think all the aggro ZTE and Huawei are having to deal with in the US might give it the opportunity it needs.

Another report from Bloomberg, however, begs to differ. An exec from SK Telecom indicated there is no favouritism towards Samsung and Huawei seems to think thinks like price competitiveness are more important than US security concerns. Ericsson and Nokia, while presumably alarmed by Samsung’s ambitions, must be pleased to see Huawei declared at its main competitive target.