One of the big factors in the adoption of 5G will be how well it works in most places, and being able to use the 4G spectrum – which we know works kind of well in most places – for 5G applications will help speed on that adoption.
In that vein, Optus has successfully made an end-to-end 5G video test call whilst simultaneously streaming video content on a 4G device with the Ericsson Spectrum Sharing technology.
Utilising the Optus 5G network in Australia and Singtel’s pilot 5G network in Singapore, the inter-country video call was made with a pre-commercial OPPO 5G device equipped with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X55 5G Modem-RF System while also video streaming content on a 4G device connected to the same spectrum. The Optus network was able to assign spectrum resources on both 4G and 5G switching between them in milliseconds to support the different service video demands from both users.
Importantly this test call demonstrates the benefits of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, which rather than dedicating spectrum to one technology which is the case today, allows the same spectrum to be used at the same time for both 4G and 5G, with the network base stations controlling the allocation of spectrum.
Optus’ Kent Wu, Head of Access Network Planning and Quality had this to say of the test:
“Optus is one of the first few operators in the world to demonstrate this Dynamic Spectrum Sharing with end to end capability. Our 4G network currently covers 97.3 percent of Australians and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing will enable us to efficiently manage our spectrum assets in a way that addresses the needs of our existing 4G customers whilst also assisting to widen our 5G coverage and unlocking new video experience services on 5G.”
Optus – and other carriers – continue to innovate in the 5G space, but the one thing we’re just not seeing happen as quickly is the rollout of the actual network.
Despite this, Optus has promised a number of new 5G-based services coming soon.
From June 2020 Optus will launch 4K Ultra HD Live Streaming exclusive football content on Optus Sport which will mean that Optus 5G Home customers can enjoy selected games from the Euro 2020 tournament, the 2020/21 Champions League and the 2020/21 Premier League in stunning 4K Ultra HD Live Streaming quality. Optus will also deliver the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 4K Ultra HD which will be exclusively available to Optus 5G Home customers via Fetch Mighty Boxes.