Ericsson, Telstra and Intel make 5G call over live 3.5 GHz network

ericsson telstra 5G
Image credit: Ericsson

Ericsson, Telstra and Intel announced they have successfully completed an end-to-end 5G non-standalone (NSA) 3GPP data call on a commercial mobile network at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast Australia in a multivendor setup.

Some part of that constitutes a world first, the companies said in a statement.

The call was “the first of its kind” over 3.5-GHz spectrum, bringing together the core components from multiple companies required for a real commercial 5G network call.

It included Telstra’s 5G NSA commercial network, licenced 3.5-GHz commercial spectrum, Ericsson’s commercial 5G NR radio 6488, baseband and virtualized packet core for 5G EPC running a 5G slice on Ericsson’s NFVi, a Telstra SIM card and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform for the 5G NR UE.

Ericsson and Intel pulled off a similar call earlier this month with Telstra and other operators at the Ericsson Lab in Stockholm, although that was a lab-based call rather than a call on a live network.

The SIM card used for the data call also happens to belong to Telstra’s group managing director of networks Mike Wright.

“Demonstrating this 5G data call end-to-end using my own personal SIM card on Telstra’s mobile network is the closest any provider has come to making a ’true’ 5G call in the real world-environment,” Wright said.

Fredrik Jejdling, executive VP and head of networks at Ericsson, says the live 5G call is the latest step towards making 5G a 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 and Ericsson is helping customers get it done.”

Ericsson, Telstra and Intel said they will continue to conduct 5G tests across multiple use cases ahead of the expected 5G commercial network launch by Telstra in early 2019.

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