Telstra has unveiled plans for a 5G banking trial with CBA, along with a slew of new offerings – including exclusive 5G devices and an IoT extender – at MWC
In what the telco is heralding as an ‘industry first’, Telstra, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Ericsson will trial 5G edge computing technologies for the financial services sector, testing end-to-end banking solutions over 5G over the coming months.
The trials are expected to showcase what the ‘bank branch of the future’ might look like and how 5G edge compute can help reduce network infrastructure currently required at individual branches.
Nikos Katinakis, Telstra group executive networks and IT, says 5G edge computing is all about bringing the network closer to the user or application.
“For financial institutions like Commonwealth Bank, it will help to enhance existing banking applications as well as deliver new use cases such as artificial intelligence, all supported by a range of software defined networking solutions.”
Pete Steel, Commonwealth Bank executive general manager of digital and retail operations and technology, says 5G and edge computing have significant potential to enhance the availability, stability and performance of CBA’s network infrastructure.
“We hope they can help us provide quicker and better digital experiences for our customers,” Steel says.
Katinakis says learnings from the trials will be applied across other industries.
Samsung, Oppo and LG 5G exclusives for Telstra
Meanwhile, as the 5G race heats up, Telstra also revealed that it will be providing 5G smartphones from Oppo, Samsung and LG first, or exclusively, in Australia.
First tipped at CES earlier this year, the telco this week confirmed that its 5G lineup will include the LG V50 ThinQ – exclusive to Telstra – Oppo’s first 5G offering and Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G, which will be available on Telstra first.
“There are two key components to bringing 5G to life – you need the network technology and you need compatible devices,” says Telstra CEO Andrew Penn. “Our network has been ready for some time, and we’re now even closer to having 5G-compatible devices available for our customers.
The phones are all due for release in the first half of 2019.
“Telstra is 5G-ready now,” Penn says. “When we began rolling out 5G technology across Australia back in August, we also started working closely with the major mobile brands and leading manufacturers of 5G handsets. This was so Telstra customers would not only be the first to access to 5G smartphones but also have a variety of products to choose from”.
And a 100km IoT range extender…
Also announced at MWC was a partnership between Telstra and Ericsson to integrate Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator connectivity management services into Telstra’s IoT offering.
The deal means from March 30, Telstra’s enterprise customers will be able to manage, access and track IoT devices and networked assets at a local, national or global level via access to Telstra’s cellular network, including the telco’s Narrowband-IoT and CAT-M1 technology.
This builds on Ericsson and Telstra’s successful deployment in September 2018 of NB-IoT Extended Range, that increased Telstra’s NB-IoT coverage to over 3.5 million square kilometres and which allows data connections up to 100km – 60kms more than 3GPP standards-based limits.
Emilio Romeo, Ericsson Australia and New Zealand head says the partnership means enterprises can integrate their business processes with the managed connectivity services offered by the two companies to create ‘highly reliable IoT solutions which will help to drive digital transformation of industries in Australia and internationally.
“We are enabling enterprises to launch IoT services on a global scale and helping the industry to capitalise on the tremendous potential that IoT brings,” Romeo says.