In Sydney, Australia last week, , , Netgear and together demonstrated Telstra’s new Gigabit LTE network, which required all four companies’ respective expertise in 4G LTE to be possible. Australia’s Telstra is one of the fastest networks in the world and has been a launchpad for wireless technologies. Currently, most networks and devices run on LTE-Advanced networks. New Gigabit LTE networks like Telstra’s run LTE-Advanced Pro—the next step towards a 5G network. Ultimately, to enable 5G meaningfully, most operators like Telstra will need a robust Gigabit LTE network for coverage.
The four companies presented their parts of making Gigabit LTE possible. They showed what kinds of speeds the network can deliver, achieving download speeds more than 900 Mbps over a live network using real hardware. The theoretical maximum of the network today is 979 Mbps, which makes these speeds even more impressive. They did this while streaming the press conference over a 360 degree 4K camera to YouTube.
Following panel questions, Telstra, Qualcomm, Netgear and Ericsson demonstrated their technologies, showing off the possibilities of Gigabit LTE. These demonstrations were done using the same Netgear Nighthawk M1 mobile hotspot router with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 inside. What’s impressive is that all the hotspots running the different demonstrations were running on the same live network and off the same indoor cell.
The first demo was with the Google Pixel and Daydream View headset in VR. This demonstration showed multiple 360 degree VR video streams simultaneously with multiple users on multiple headsets. One demo Qualcomm was running a 4K 360 camera was a livestream from the Sydney Opera House to the headsets we were wearing inside the Telstra building. It is an achievement that this was done over a live network without hesitation or lag. This is possible thanks to the Gigabit LTE network’s built-in capacity and performance to enable a good experience across the network.
The next demonstration showed the rich media experience users can expect with Gigabit LTE, specifically with apps like Amazon, YouTube, Spotify, Netflix or any service that allows users to pre-load content on their devices before they go offline or into weaker coverage. For this demonstration, Qualcomm’s Sherif Hanna, Technical Marketing for Snapdragon LTE Modems, demonstrated YouTube Red’s capabilities. First, he showed pre-caching YouTube content and how quickly users could get that content on their devices and get off the network, freeing up resources for other users. Then he showed how Gigabit LTE and the Snapdragon X16 modem also enable improved upload experiences with upload speeds up to 3x faster. With people making 4K videos on their phones, being able to upload from a device like the Google Pixel is valuable, especially since Pixel users have unlimited cloud storage space.