TELSTRA EYES 5G FUTURE WITH SMARTPHONES, BANKING TRIAL

Telstra has announced it has sealed exclusive partnerships with Samsung, LG and Oppo to offer its customers 5G smartphones in the first half of 2019.

These handsets include the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G an LG V50 ThinQ, as well as Oppo’s first 5G handset when it launches in Australia.  

Speaking at MWC, Telstra’s CEO Andy Penn said the partnership arrangements will give customers not only the first to access 5G smartphones but a variety to choose from.

Telstra is 5G-ready now,” he said. “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.”

Over the last six months, Telstra has switched on 5G technology across selected areas of Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Launceston, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba. Throughout 2019, this 5G footprint will be extended to other cities and selection regional areas, Penn said.

In addition, Telstra announced it will begin trials of 5G edge computing with Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Ericsson as part of new partnership between the three companies.

According to the telco, it will use the trial to explore use cases of 5G can help reduce network infrastructure currently required at individual bank branches.

Telstra has also come together with Ericsson to deliver Internet of Things connectivity for its enterprise customers.

As part of the partnership, Ericsson’s Connectivity Management services will be integrated into Telstra’s IoT solutions including Telstra’s Narrowband-IoT and CAT-M1 technology to allow enterprise customers to manage, access and track their IoT devices and networked assets.

MICROSOFT BRINGS MIXED REALITY TO HOLOLENS 2

Microsoft has announced the next generation of its HoloLens wearable headset, HoloLens 2, four years after the first version was introduced.

At the company’s MWC press event in Barcelona, Microsoft said its holographic device features a display of 47 pixels per degree of sight and contains eye-tracking sensors to make hologram interaction more natural – all of which have been designed to help improve the overall mixed reality experience.

For quick and secure access, users can login through iris recognition. The headset also features hand gesture recognition for added hologram experience.

Made from carbon-fibre material, the new headset has a new dial-in fit system for comfortable wear and can be worn over glasses.

While HoloLens was targeted for the average consumer, HoloLens 2 will also be accessible to businesses.

Microsoft’s mixed reality applications like Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Dynamics 365 Layout, and the new Dynamics 365 Guides, as well as its new Azure mixed reality services will be accessible to businesses so they can develop enterprise-grade mixed reality applications such as interactive content or customised training.

HoloLens 2 will be available in Australia and New Zealand this year for US$3,500 and can be pre-ordered now.

 

NOKIA: WE’RE THE ONE STOP SHOP FOR 5G – AND WE’VE GOT IT RIGHT

Nokia has fronted up to MWC 2019 saying its got ‘the right strategy at the right time’ to win at 5G, and heralding a number of ‘world firsts’ in its Australian 5G rollout.

“Nokia arrives at Mobile World Congress as a world leader in 5G, with the industry’s only end-to-end portfolio that is available in all markets around the world,” says Rajeev Suri, Nokia president and chief executive officer.

“We are remarkably well-positioned with more than 20 5G contracts, and almost 100 5G engagements with customers in every region of the world,” Suri says.

“We also believe that there will be a virtuous circle of investment as networks are upgraded to meet the demands of 5G and Nokia has the right portfolio at the right time to meet that need.

The company made a slew of 5G announcements in the lead up to MWC and continued those announcements at the event.

The announcements include the launch of a fixed wireless access FastMile 5G Gateway, delivering 10 to 25-times the speeds of LTE to residential and business subscribers.

Optus is the first operator globally to deploy the indoor gateway in a live network and successfully launch a 5G fixed wireless access service using the 5G New Radio standard.

The plug and play gateway, which Nokia says can achieve twice the indoor coverage, three times the downlink capacity and five time the uplink capacity compared to traditional designs, was recently used to stream 4K video services to some residential customers in Australia in a trial.

Allen Lew, Optus CEO, says the gateway will play an important role in the telco’s commercial 5G fixed-wireless access service.

“With Nokia’s solution, we are able to effectively leverage our existing mobile footprint to quickly provide new ultra-broadband services to customers using 5G FWA.”

Meanwhile a partnership with Vodafone sees the two companies demonstrating two new massive Multiple Input Multiple Output options at MWC: A RFIC based mMIMO antenna and a machine learning powered scheduler for 5G massive MIMO.

The announcements also included the launch of new additions to its AirScale small cells portfolio to extend the performance of 5G indoors and outdoors and enhancements to its Anyhaul transport portfolio to deliver throughput speeds of up to 25Gbps to base stations.

Nokia logged net sales of EUR22.6 billion last finical year, down three percent on the previous year, with operating loss at EUR59 million, up 16 percent year on year.

Nokia is counting on 5G – and that much touted end to end portfolio – to further boost its sales over the coming year, though the company acknowledges that it expects the first half of the year to be ‘soft’ with 5G rollouts staggered over the course of the year.

In announcing the financials earlier this year, Suri said Nokia’s view of a ‘fast and meaningful shift to 5G’ remained unchanged.

While Nokia is banking on 5G, so to are telco operators according to the Nokia 5G Maturity Index, released this week.

The index shows two-thirds of operators expect 5G to create new revenue streams, while more than 70 percent of operators are focused on 5G to help improve existing consumer services.

The most popular 5G use cases identified by operators included multi-gigabit mobile connectivity, connected cars and autonomous vehicles, tactile internet experiences such as augmented and virtual reality, critical healthcare monitoring, smart city apps and smart home services.

MWC 2019: TELSTRA GOES ALL OUT WITH 5G BANKING TRIAL, EXCLUSIVE HANDSETS AND IOT RANGE EXTENDER

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.

OPT FOR US AND IMPROVED SECURITY,’ URGES HUAWEI

Calls for global 3rd party assurance to cyber security in keynote address at MWC 201

Guo Ping, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, calls for international collaboration on industry standards and appeals to governments across the world to listen to cyber security experts. His requests come during a keynote speech at Mobile World Congress 2019.

Huawei is the first company to deploy 5G networks at scale, Guo said. His MWC 2019 keynote address – “Bringing you 5G safer, faster, smarter” – outlined how Huawei has developed the most powerful, simple, and intelligent 5G networks in the world, and argued that such innovation is nothing without security. He urges the industry and governments and intelligent 5G networks in the world, and argued that such innovation is nothing without security. He urges the industry and governments to work together and adopt unified cyber security standards.

Guo responded to recent allegations directed at Huawei by the U.S. government and called for fact-based regulation, referring to the recommendations made by GSMA, the industry organization for mobile network operators worldwide, for governments and mobile operators to work together.
“To build a secure cyber environment for everyone, we need standards, we need fact-based regulation, and we need to work together.”
“To build a system that we all can trust, we need aligned responsibilities, unified standards, and clear regulation.”
“I fully agree with recent recommendations: Governments and mobile operators should work together to agree upon Europe’s assurance testing and certification regime. NESAS is a very good idea and I would recommend extending it to the world.”

“Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors. And we will never allow anyone else to do so in our equipment.”

The irony is that the US CLOUD Act allows their governmental entities to access data across borders.

 

NEC TARGETS CSPs WITH 5G VERTICAL BUSINESS PLATFORM

NEC has flagged the global provision of its 5G Vertical Business Platform enabling CSPs to provide networks, clouds and applications for the arrival of the 5G era.

NEC said the 5G platform had been designed to provide full stack capabilities and deliver innovative vertical business services. “While 5G is becoming a communication infrastructure supporting various industries and the public, CSPs face very difficult challenges as to how to cope with various needs, complicated traffic, massive amounts of traffic, security threats, and others,” the firm said, adding that its capability minimizes integration efforts – cutting time-to-market by underpinning a broad swathe of vertical business operations on a single platform.

NEC said the hardware and software, based on a key partner ecosystem, enabled continuous, secure and fast 5G service innovation.

“5G is expected to be more than just a high-speed, large-capacity mobile network. It should play the role of a platform that brings significant innovation to society as a whole and various industries and creates new services and value,” said Kazuhiko Harasaki, deputy general manager, Service Provider Solutions Division, NEC Corporation.

“However, for service providers in the position of providing and operating the platform, there are many challenges to be solved when entering the 5G era,” he added. “NEC can provide the network, Cloud / NFVI, virtual application, automation and orchestration of all layers with the optimum security solution. This is in addition to the company’s rich experience of service integration with ecosystem partners.”

“The… capability will enable CSPs to continuously add new applications and services for industry verticals to create new business and monetization opportunities for network operators and enterprises,” said Harasaki.

The NEC 5G Vertical Business Platform will be presented at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, February 25-28 at the NEC stand, Hall 3, 3M30