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NBN announces 5G trials with Ericsson

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Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) company has announced that it will be kicking off 5G trials this week in partnership with Ericsson in Melbourne.

According to NBN, it will be using 100MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for the trial, as well as Ericsson's 5G New Radio (5G NR) equipment, with NBN CTO Ray Owen saying the tests will be used to see how it can improve its fixed-wireless service.

"As with any new technology, there have been claims made about how 5G will impact the fixed broadband market," Owen said during the CommsDay Summit in Sydney on Tuesday morning.

"We know that 5G will enable much faster speeds than 4G, but at NBN we also know better than anyone about how much data end users are consuming, and some of the challenges on putting that data capacity onto fixed-wireless network.

"It is in this vein, we have a close interest in 5G for our fixed-wireless footprint in understanding the technology and economics of a 5G upgrade path."

NBN now operates more than 2,500 fixed-wireless macro sites across the nation, providing the service to around 225,000 premises.

"We are certainly not done with 4G yet," Owen added.

"We have a number of initiatives under way using next-generation 4G technology such as MIMO to deliver an improved end-user experience on fixed-wireless -- but we absolutely want to look at what 5G will offer in the future to all Australians wherever they may live."

NBN CEO Bill Morrow -- who is stepping down[1] by the end of 2018 -- in February told ZDNet that the company is eyeing the 5G spectrum[2] going up for auction[3]

Read more from our friends at ZDNet

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