Joana Carneiro, a renowned Portuguese orchestra conductor, recently took the podium to demonstrate the precision timing of 5G connectivity. The conductor, orchestra and soloist were almost 1 km apart in three locations and could only see each other via large screens. The screens were connected via an Ericsson-powered Vodafone Portugal 5G test network, with direct streaming from 5G smartphones. Carneiro led the orchestra and soloist through a six-minute extract of American composer Charles Ives’ 1908 work The Unanswered Question.
The speed, low latency and huge data handling capabilities of 5G meant the performance was virtually indistinguishable from one where Carneiro and her musicians would share the same physical space.
The non-verbal communication skill sets of the conductor-orchestra relationship require every movement, nuance, expression and instruction from the conductor to be acted on immediately in real time and intricate detail to deliver the full emotional performance of a piece of music. That is exactly what Ericsson’s 5G connectivity enabled at the test connecting Vodafone Portugal’s headquarters in Lisbon with a nearby theater. The physical distance separating the performers was superfluous to the test result as the distance was limited for licensing purposes. With 5G connectivity, the same results could be achieved over very large separation distances.
The demo was staged to highlight the power of 5G as a platform for innovation and as an enabler of use cases such as remote collaboration and remote operation. To ensure that the test remained as true to a live physical representation as possible, two 5G devices were deployed on each side of the demo to provide separate connections and bi-directional communication streams. This ensured that the conductor, orchestra and soloist could see each other in real time.
The demo connectivity was via an Ericsson 5G Non-standalone radio network configured with 100 MHz on 3.6GHz mid-band test frequency. Test licensing was granted by Portugal’s national regulatory authority ANACOM and deployed on Vodafone Portugal’s network. Commercial grade 5G radio equipment from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio was used, including AIR 6488 and the latest Ericsson RAN Compute (baseband) products. The demo included a high-definition video wall, recording camera and full real-time TV studio encoding equipment for high-quality telepresence feeds with video and sound. This additional complexity, together with the added processing delay of the media coding, further demonstrated the real-time, low latency data handling capabilities of Ericsson 5G.
Vodafone Portugal aims to launch 5G as soon as the country’s 5G auction process is complete and corresponding licenses are made available.
The demo was also featured in the Future Today television program on the national Portuguese broadcast channel, SIC. Interviewed for the TV program, Joana Carneiro said the technology would enable composers to be more creative by bringing influences and performers together at the same time without having to share the same location.
João Nascimento, CTO, Vodafone Portugal, said Vodafone Portugal’s 5G coverage will be achieved through the combination of antennas (3.5Ghz) and 700Mhz spectrum. He said Massive IoT will deliver benefits within the next two to five years. João also said that one of the characteristics of Massive IoT is that it will have the capacity to support around one million devices per square kilometer. With these characteristics, industry, agriculture, education, culture will benefit greatly. The consumer will benefit equally, derived from these possibilities.
Luís Muchacho, Presales Lead, Ericsson Portugal, said that big manufacturers in Europe are looking at 5G, and Ericsson is present in some cases in which they are deploying 5G in their factories, digitalizing and introducing flexibility to improve processes and take advantage of 5G technology.
Ericsson currently has 136 commercial 5G agreements or contracts with unique operators worldwide. Ericsson is currently powering 85 live commercial 5G networks in 42 countries.