Ericsson, Telstra and Intel have made the first end-to-end 5G data call on a commercial mobile network. Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast Australia was the venue.

Telstra’s Group Managing Director Networks Mike Wright, says, “Demonstrating this 5G data call end-to-end using my SIM card on Telstra’s mobile network is the closest any provider has come to making a ’true’ 5G call in the real world. It marks another 5G first for Telstra. We continue to work with global technology companies Ericsson and Intel. As well as global standards bodies to advance the deployment of commercial 5G capability in Australia.”

The call was the first of its kind over the 3.5GHz spectrum. It bought together the core components from multiple companies required for a real commercial 5G network call. It included

  • Telstra’s 5G NSA network licenced 3.5GHz spectrum
  • Ericsson’s commercial 5G NR radio 6488, baseband and packet core for 5G EPC
  • A personal Telstra SIM card
  • And the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform for the 5G NR UE.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson

“We’re quickly moving towards 5G commercial reality. 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. Ericsson is helping customers to do it.”

Asha Keddy, vice president and general manager, Intel Next Generation and Standards

“Along with Ericsson and Telstra, Intel continues to demonstrate its strong 5G technical capability, as showcased by this first 5G data call on commercial infrastructure deployed in Telstra’s network. Intel will continue to collaborate on 5G tests and multiple use cases ahead of Telstra’s planned 5G commercial launch that will bring powerful, low-latency and high-bandwidth experiences to consumers.”

GadgetGuy’s take. One step closer – first 5G data call

While readily available 5G may still be a few years away this milestone call demonstrates it is viable sooner rather than later. We will start to see 5G enabled smartphones roll out in mid-2019.

But it does not mean the 4G network will die off off either. It has a lot of future potential and substantial existing infrastructure investment. 5G is mainly for new use cases. Faster speeds mean higher costs.