Vodafone demos 5G network in New Zealand

Vodafone demos 5G network in New Zealand

Robots and smart vehicle use cases reveal the coming ubiquity of the next-generation network.

Vodafone is trialling a 5G network in New Zealand. The mobile operator is partnering with Nokia to demonstrate a range of use cases for the technology, such as connected robots and driverless vehicles.

The companies have trialled the 5G network at Vodafone NZ’s Innov8 Auckland headquarters using a millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum band. They plan to test it across the 3.5GHz band soon.

The trial 5G system is based on multivendor equipment, including Nokia’s AirScale and Airframe platforms.

“Today’s 5G event is about showcasing how we can easily evolve our existing 4G and 4G+ networks to 5G, and in doing so, prepare our customers and the country for the high-speed, low-latency applications expected in a future 5G world,” said Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners.

“As 5G is an incremental upgrade to our existing mobile network, these services will be deployed throughout New Zealand in both urban and rural settings – opening up a world of possibility for digital innovation everywhere.”

Robots and driverless cars

Among the key applications demonstrated using the 5G network were low-latency robots, live virtual reality performances, and the world’s first gaming tournament over 5G, which was broadcast over e-sports platform Twitch.

Zoltan Losteiner, Nokia Head of Oceania, said that 5G is fast becoming a reality and this was the clear message from the Mobile World Congress last month.

He added that the trial with Vodafone is further evidence of the significant momentum building behind the technology, as well as the “high level of 5G readiness in New Zealand and Australia”.

Read more: IoT in Agtech: Australia invests millions in robots, digital farming

“There is a good understanding of the industrial transformation that is emerging in areas like agriculture and public safety, and how existing 4G networks can evolve to support new capabilities, delivering higher performance while improving efficiency,” said Losteiner.

“Nokia technology, such as our AirScale and Airframe platforms, and ultra-small, high-performance ReefShark chipset, is leading the market and opening the way to rapid network evolution, and the expected launch of 5G services within the next two to three years,” he added.

• Last year, Vodafone announced that this year will see its NB-IoT network roll out across New Zealand after a trial of the technology with Nokia in 2016.

Internet of Business says

2018 is the year in which the promise of 5G has started to become a reality, with tests and experimental programmes taking place throughout the world. However, our in-depth expert review of the technology reveals that a new security regime is needed to manage it.

Here are just some of our recent reports:

Bristol shows off world’s first 5G urban network

How to secure 5G to prevent IoT disasters: expert panel

Sensor City awarded £3.5m to explore 5G community Wi-Fi

4G & 5G will be two thirds of 2025 mobile connections

#MWC18: Airbus and OneWeb get onboard to put 5G on planes

#MWC18: Huawei unveils the world’s first 5G chip