A new partnership between Vodafone and Nokia will fast track Vodafone’s rollout of 5G throughout Australia over the next 12 months.
The two groups join national plans to deploy functional 5G technologies across the country in 2020 by the Australian government and telecommunications companies.
VODAFONE ON TRACK
Nokia and Vodafone have been working together to develop a 5G network in Australia since 2016 and now a new partnership to launch technologies is becoming a reality in 2020.
The electronics company have presented Vodafone with an advanced 5G roadmap that includes the deployment of new Massive MIMO antennas, allowing for increased capacity and performance. The plan also enables 5G in all the spectrum bands currently being use for 4G.
“We have worked with Nokia for several years across different elements of our network. They presented a compelling roadmap that aligned with our 5G objectives and will help us to continue improving our 4G network for our customers,” said Vodafone’s Chief Executive Officer, Iñaki Berroeta.
“Their knowledge of our network is extensive, and they are in the best position to ensure a seamless transition and that we reach our 5G goals as soon as possible while maintaining the best experience for our 4G customers.”
The new partnership will last for at least 5 years, allowing Vodafone to place orders with Nokia for site delivery, thereby allowing the operator to set the pace when rolling out its 5G network.
“We started our 5G journey with Vodafone in 2016 and are now moving from trials to reality,” commented Federico Guillén, the President of Customer Operations at Nokia.
“Nokia’s end-to-end portfolio has a key role to play here, with this deal including 5G radio access network (RAN), IP/Optical, Microwave, deployment and managed services, as well as software.”
Vodafone announced that it would commence trials of 5G networking in 2016, yet have been missing from much of the media attention in anticipation of the national rollout.
During initial trials, conducted in partnership with Nokia, the company recorded clocking speeds of 5 Gbps over 200 MHz of spectrum in its first local live recordings of the technology.
Along with Vodafone and Nokia, experts predict more devices from the likes of Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, LG and HTC. As usual, Apple hasn’t publicly announced any plans for 5G devices.
Vodafone officials say the company will begin the rollout of its 5G network in the first half of 2020.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND 5G
Vodafone joins a very tense 5G playing field in Australia that has seen many concerned local community groups fight back against competitors in their plans to upgrade technologies.
The mobile phone industry has been preparing to take on growing community concerns about the potential health risks of 5G with a campaign backing the safety of the latest mobile technology.
Recently, TPG scrapped intentions to continue with 5G network plans, with a senior TPG executive claiming the company scrapped the rollout following “community pressure” over the health impacts of wireless technology.
Interestingly, the revelations came during a three-week trial on whether to overturn the competition watchdog’s decision to block the $15 billion merger between TPG and Vodafone Australia.
The additional installation of ‘smart cell’ boxes is directly related to Australia’s current rollout of smart city infrastructure across the country, which has also caused many concerns.
Telstra was hit with a formal warning by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) last year for failing to comply with regulations over the deployment of mobile stations.
Optus have also been active in the development of technologies, outlining its 5G rollout strategy which will begin with 1,200 sites in the first wave and also include affordable unlimited 5G broadband services – the Optus 5G Home Broadband:
In October, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts commenced a parliament-first inquiry into 5G network technology.
Over 200 submissions to the inquiry have been received so far from individual members of the public or from groups of concerned citizens that claim 5G will be hazardous to humans, calling for the government to stop companies building 5G networks in Australia.
2020 ROLLOUT ON TRACK
Despite the concerns, Australia is gearing up for the imminent arrival of 5G technology, with telecommunications companies currently on track ahead of the planned 2020 rollout.
The formal, international process to define 5G is led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) — a United Nations specialised agency for information and communications technologies.
The Department of Communications and Arts have detailed plans to support a timely rollout of 5G in Australia in 2020, spelling out the road map in their paper, 5G — Enabling the Future Economy.
This has led to the upgrade of over 250 telecommunications towers across the country, many of which are now being activated as ‘5G capable’ ahead of spectrum allowance approval by the UN.
Communications Minister, Paul Fletcher, has assured telcos that the government is “backing high-speed 5G mobile network rollout plans” amid signs of a community backlash.
Fletcher, who has been exposed as a former Director of telecommunications giant Optus, recently met with executives for a demonstration of the high-speed 5G mobile networks.
The government will support 5G technologies in Australia, including making the 5G spectrum available in a timely manner, actively engaging in the international process, allowing mobile carriers to deploy infrastructure and reviewing existing telecommunications regulatory arrangements.
ARPANSA — safety regulator for the rollout of 5G in Australia — have dismissed concerns by residents by releasing statements urging the public to avoid “misleading information online”.
5G technology will power Australia’s national smart city infrastructure, underpinned by an approaching surveillance model that is similar to China’s ‘Social Credit System’, and will also sustain the coming cashless society, digital identification grid and biometric monitoring systems.
Indeed, the race to introduce Australia’s first functional 5G grid is heating up quickly.
5G by 2020: The next generation | Vodafone Australia
Telcos prepare for 5G health backlash | Financial Review
5G ‘health scare campaign’ is growing: Telstra | TOTT News
Inquiry launched into 5G in Australia | TOTT News
5G rollout set for 2020 in Australia | TOTT News
5G — Enabling the future economy | Department of Communications and Arts
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