The emergence of 5G doesn’t spell the end of 4G. The rise of the next generation mobile network dominated the discussion during Telstra Vantage conference in Melbourne this week, but industry leaders also assured attendees that 4G wasn’t going anywhere.

During the ‘networks for the future – 5G innovation and investment keynote session’ Balázs Bertényi, chair of the radio access network technical standards group at 3GPP said when 5G is switched on 4G does not disappear.

He explained, “In particular with latency we are trying to take LTE to as far as it can go technology wise.

“Many of the features that are really essential components of 5G we are trying to bring them to 4G as fast as possible. Hopefully, there can be a homogeneous network with both 4G and 5G present. 4G is here to stay and has a major role in the next 10 years.”

Channa Seneviratne, executive director network and infrastructure engineering, Telstra said the start of 5G is not the end of 4G.

4G has a long way to go. One of the things I am excited about which I’m spruiking is ‘option 5’, the 5G network will be deployed overtime and within 2-3 years you will see the core network upgraded to what is called the next generation 5G core.

“That will unleash all these new use cases. What is interesting about option 5 is you can upgrade the 4G network to work with 5G core.”

Benefits of 5G

Michele Garra, head of innovation and technology at Telstra said there are multiple areas that will benefit from 5G when it comes to consumer and small businesses. 

Garra explained, “The first one is the promise of more speed. The second aspect is latency which means the speed to which the network responds.

“Other use cases would be IoT, I think we’ve all been waiting for a network solution to see a plethora of devices available. We obviously have smartphones and we will have smart cars and everything else that will enable some real simplicity in our lives,” Garra said.

“Voice will be one of the big changes we will see through IoT.

“The final area is face calls and live calls using FaceTime and Skype calls. We believe this will be the year we see that change.”

Telstra Vantage ran from September 17-20 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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