No. 3 telco Vodafone says it is planning trials of 5G technologies on its network towards the end of this year. This follows Telstra’s disclosure of plans for 5G trials ahead of possible 5G deployments as early as 2020.Voda said lab tests would
commence in the fourth quarter of this year. Production trials are likely
to come closer to the 2020 deployment, around 2018-19 – though so far
commercial-scale 5G networking technology remains elusive. Acting chief
technology officer Kevin Millroy said Vodafone would work with a number of
equipment suppliers – which include Huawei and Ericsson – on the trials, but
would not comment further.
“The actual network will not be there until 2020,” Millroy said.
“We’ve still got a 4G network that we have to ensure continues to deliver
the great service that it has been delivering,” he added.
Vodafone in the UK is working with Huawei to lay the foundations of 5G by 2020.
It has been undertaking technical trials of 4×4 versions of multiple-input
multiple-output (MIMO), combined with multi-user beam forming to improve
performance in heavily built up areas.