Commonwealth Bank of Australia will “trial and explore” 5G edge computing technologies over the coming months, in collaboration with Telstra and Ericsson.
In what is claimed to be the first 5G tech program in the financial services sector, the trials will “fully explore 5G edge computing use cases and network capabilities by testing end-to-end banking solutions over 5G” Telstra said in an announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“The trials are expected to showcase what the bank branch of the future might look like, and how 5G edge compute can help to reduce the network infrastructure currently required at individual bank branches,” the telco added.
5G promises to accelerate cellular data transfer speeds from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps and beyond. It is expected to significantly improve the bandwidth, capacity and reliability of cellular broadband far more than previous generational shifts.
It’s greater speed and lower latency gives it the potential to enable an explosion in the use of IoT, augmented reality and virtual reality, and cloud computing in real time. Some commentators have cast doubt on how fast 5G will really be, however.
In a financial services setting, 5G “is expected to simplify the network operations and complexity required at individual bank branches,” Telstra said.
“This collaboration will explore optimal 5G coverage solutions and provide more flexibility for bank operations and locations,” the telco added.
Commonwealth Bank executive general manager digital and retail operations and technology, Pete Steel said 5G could enable improved customer service.
“These technologies have significant potential to enhance the availability, stability and performance of our network infrastructure and we hope they can help us provide quicker and better digital experiences for our customers,” Steel said.
Telstra has been clocking a number of 5G firsts in recent months, in July with Intel and Ericsson making the first end to end 5G non-standalone 3GPP data call over a commercial mobile network.
In December, the telco upgraded two base stations in Sydney and one in Melbourne in preparation for the expected launch this year of its first 5G services.
That month Telstra announced a partnership with FKG Group, giving the civil engineering and construction firm early commercial access to HTC 5G Hub mobile broadband devices to conduct tests with. FKG is eyeing 5G’s potential in agritech.
“5G has the potential to transform the financial services sector and deliver innovation in a faster and more efficient manner,” Nikos Katinakis, Telstra’s group executive networks and IT, said in Barcelona on Sunday.
“5G edge computing is all about bringing the network closer to the user or application. For financial institutions like Commonwealth Bank, it will help to enhance existing banking applications as well as deliver new use cases such as artificial intelligence, all supported by a range of software defined networking solutions,” Katinakis added.