Friday, 12 February 2016 12:20

5G will drive ‘massive’ increase in mobile connections: ACMA

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Australia has benefited from progressive investments and upgrades in mobile network capabilities and service deployments, and 5G capabilities are expected to support a “massive increase” in connections, lowered latency and much faster speeds, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

In its latest occasional paper - 5G and mobile network developments—Emerging issues – the ACMA the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) looks at 5G mobile developments and the opportunities that the “evolution in mobile technology” offers to the Australian community through increased use of mobile broadband and machine-to-machine communication.

The authority says successive generations of mobile technologies have been deployed in Australia approximately every 10 years, and 5G represents the “next expected evolution in mobile technologies”.

“There has already been a range of 5G-related announcements by Australian mobile operators over the past year, including the commitment to work towards a commercial 5G mobile network deployment in 2020,” the ACMA notes.

The authority also observes that there are “two defining requirements” for 5G that represent a step-change from previous mobile network developments - near-zero latency and data rates of 1–10 Gbps.

“By comparison, 4G networks in Australia provide advertised data rates of between 2–100 Mbps and a minimum latency of 10 milliseconds end-to-end round trip delay.

“These two characteristics support the ‘anytime, anywhere, anyone and anything’ capability of 5G,” the ACMA says.

In this latest paper, the ACMA considers the demand for, and technological enablers of, the deployment of 5G networks, and examines:

•    The ongoing development of mobile networks in Australia

•    Expected consumer and business drivers of demand for the next generation of mobile services

•    The technological developments that will underpin 5G network deployments

The ACMA says it is already working to identify ways that 5G technologies can be facilitated in Australia and, in addition to its spectrum management activities, other initiatives include the recently released mobile broadband strategy, Beyond 2020 and the Spectrum Review undertaken jointly with the Department of Communications and the Arts.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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