Unlocking the true potential of 5G connectivity

Ericsson Australia Pty Ltd

By Emilio Romeo*
Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Unlocking the true potential of 5G connectivity

This is a momentous year for Australia as the country finds itself on the verge of officially deploying 5G technology. With commercial launches rolling out all around the world, the anticipation for 5G is at an all-time high, and for good reason — no previous version of mobile technology has had the same potential to drive economic growth across the board.

Hence the findings from Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report come as no surprise: 5G coverage is forecast to reach 45% of the world’s population by 2024 and 5G subscriptions are expected to reach 1.9 billion in the same period. Uptake rates such as this are unprecedented, highlighting a remarkable level of market anticipation and industry readiness. The limitations associated with physical distance will be less relevant than ever before, as the likes of autonomous vehicles, smart sensors and connected infrastructure will be brought to life.

The full potential of this technology will be realised only through the combined effort of industry players and regulators aligning on spectrum, standards and technologies. The onus is on us to bring such technologies to life in an ethical and effective manner.

The Ericsson Mobility Report looks at how operators can manage the ever-growing demand for data and video while maintaining consumer experience, particularly for live content streaming with LTE Broadcast (LTE-B), such as sports entertainment. We’re already starting to see the potential of such capability locally, with network providers like Telstra striving to meet Australia’s growing demand for high-quality live video content. In the 2018 season alone, Telstra observed a 58% increase of customers streaming AFL games in live time compared to previous years.

In the face of such challenges, Telstra leveraged LTE-B (LTE- Broadcast) technology to meet the ever-growing demand for mobile video while simultaneously improving network efficiency and boosting the customer experience.

Each weekend across the AFL season, Telstra streams live sports content to around 1.2 million devices, with fans consuming 37 million minutes of live content. LTE-B enables high-quality live content to be delivered, free from rebuffering and without degrading the network experience for other users. When it comes to bitrates, LTE-B users can stream with a guaranteed 720p (HD) resolution via HEVC3 (H.265) at 1.5 Mbps, while non LTE-B users can expect 576p (SD) resolutions in high-traffic situations.

This is just one example of the enriched experiences that come from a reimagined understanding of connectivity. 5G isn’t just new tech, it’s a completely new ecosystem of digital infrastructure that will fundamentally shift consumer expectations and the nature of organisational interactions.

At Ericsson, we believe that 5G will drive novel industry applications made possible by the network’s low latency and high data speeds. According to our research, operators that engage with 5G services could grow revenues by almost 48% by 2026. This resonates with the global trends with the introduction of 4G, with early adopters gaining a significant advantage over their competitors.

The arrival of 5G in the local market is keenly anticipated by both businesses and consumers alike. With this in mind, unlocking and harnessing the raw potential associated with 5G will be the key differentiator for many Australian organisations.

*Emilio Romeo is the Managing Director of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, having been appointed to the role in January 2016. Emilio is an experienced business leader with over 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications and IT industry. As a senior executive at Ericsson for over 20 years, Emilio has held a number of senior leadership roles across Sales and IT, and before this at BHP.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/photon_photo

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