Vodafone trials '4.9G' in Sydney's west

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Vodafone has deployed what it is calling a ‘4.9G’ mobile phone site in Sydney’s Parramatta in a trial of pre-5G technology.

The site uses massive multiple input, multiple output (massive MIMO) and frequency division duplex (FDD) technology on the 1800 MHz band.

Last year, the company achieved a cell throughput speed of 717 Mbps across eight devices using massive MIMO.

The Parramatta site is one of five trial sites Vodafone is intending to establish, with the next two to be located in Sydney’s busy Chinatown and Haymarket areas.

“4.9G is supercharging our network, with customers in 4.9G areas to enjoy a higher quality network experience, smoother streaming and more consistent speeds, even in times of high usage,” said Vodafone’s CTO, Kevin Millroy.

“We are focused on continuing to evolve and enhance our 4G network to deliver real benefits to our customers now, while Australians wait for the introduction of 5G to consumers in coming years.

“Vodafone is well on the way to be 5G-ready once compatible spectrum becomes available, with the rollout of our fibre transmission network nearing completion and the ongoing project to virtualise our core network.

Research firm ResearchAndMarkets.com projects that the massive MIMO market will be worth more than US$20.91 billion by 2026, a CAGR of 41% between 2018 and 2026.

“The projected growth in the massive MIMO market indicates the potential and untapped opportunities for the telecommunications industry to improve its network offerings,” said Millroy.

“Rather than focusing on stunts around 5G, Vodafone is investing in technologies that will help deliver real benefits to our customers now.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/kstudija

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