It’s long been said that enterprises will be a prime beneficiary of 5G, and that appears to be borne out in Australia with Telstra’s deployment of Ericsson’s Private 5G for enterprise.

Telstra and Ericsson today announced the first deployment of Ericsson Private 5G, an on-premise dedicated 5G network for enterprises. It uses a single-server 5G dual mode core, so it’s using both LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) simultaneously.

The team’s first deployment of the new technology is for AgriFood Connect, an Australian not-for-profit organization. Low latency, enhanced resiliency and enhanced capacity are some of the advantages.

Telstra and AgriFood Connect have successfully deployed industrial IoT capabilities over 5G standalone that can support a variety of business requirements, such as asset condition monitoring and the collection of data from machinery. According to Ericsson, these sorts of capabilities will enable features such as predictive maintenance alerts that will drive cost savings against unplanned downtime and repairs.

“The combination of a dedicated network in partnership with Telstra’s existing network capabilities can facilitate the implementation of a whole variety of new and emerging technologies. Challenging locations in regional Australia, where there is comparatively limited backhaul capacity, will greatly benefit from this technology. For example, a remote farming or a manufacturing business could embrace the latest advancements in video analytics and IoT connectivity, almost regardless of their location, with the data processed on site,” said Telstra Network and Infrastructure executive Iskra Nikolova in a statement.

The deployment with Telstra is an important step toward automation and control through intelligent 5G connectivity. Ericsson has high hopes for the program, saying its Private 5G platform will enable emerging industrial use cases across verticals, such as autonomous mobile robots, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, drone technology, augmented reality and virtual reality, plus “many more” innovative 5G use cases.

In 2020, Telstra said it was the first telco in Australia to enable end-to-end 5G Standalone across its network, as well as one of the first in the world. It called the feat a “mammoth task,” but worth it, with the most transformational benefits of 5G, like network slicing, only possible with Standalone 5G.

Elsewhere, the road to 5G SA isn’t moving nearly as fast. Throughout the world, only 19 5G SA network deployments have been recorded thus far, according to Dell’Oro Group. In the U.S., the sole nationwide 5G SA operator is T-Mobile.

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