Vodafone has staged a technology showcase in Auckland to establish its 5G credentials, following a recent trial of pre-standards 5G technology at its InnoV8 Auckland headquarters.
Vodafone’s move comes just a week after Spark turned on what it said was New Zealand’s first live 5G mobile test site, outside the Beehive, using spectrum made available temporarily by MBIE.
Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners said the event demonstrated “how we can easily evolve our existing 4G and 4G+ networks to 5G, and in doing so, prepare our customers and the country for the high speed, low latency applications expected in a future 5G world.”
He described 5G as “an incremental upgrade to our existing mobile network … [that will open up] a world of possibility for digital innovation everywhere.”
Vodafone said the trial used equipment from multiple vendors including Nokia’s AirScale and Airframe platforms, and spectrum in the millimetre wavelength band. It plans to test the technology in the 3.5GHz band soon.
Nokia’s head of Oceania, Zoltan Losteiner, said there was a high level of 5G readiness in New Zealand and Australia for 5G. “There is a good understanding of the industrial transformation that is emerging in areas like agriculture and public safety and how existing 4G networks can evolve to support new capabilities, delivering higher performance while improving efficiency.”
Vodafone used the showcase to demonstrate a number of futuristic applications enabled by the technology. These included low-latency robots, live virtual reality performances and what it says was the world’s first gaming tournament over 5G.
The League of Legends tournament featured players from Vodafone staff and a League of Legends team, Tectonic. It was broadcast to fans through the e-sports platform, Twitch.