Telstra switches on 5G on the Gold Coast
Telstra has activated its first 5G cell sites in areas of the Gold Coast, claiming the title of the first Australian mobile operator to be 5G ready.
The new sites will be the first of 200 planned 5G-capable sites Telstra plans to roll out across the country by the end of the year, as part of efforts to prepare for the commercial arrival of 5G devices.
In addition, the 3.4 GHz-enabled Gold Coast sites will support Telstra’s 5G innovation centre at the Telstra Southport exchange. The centre launched in February and is being used to test 5G technologies including the world’s first precinct of 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotpots and a 5G connected car.
The 5G Innovation Centre was also home to the world’s first end-to-end 5G non-standalone data call on a commercial mobile network, conducted last month in conjunction with Ericsson and Intel.
In addition, the Gold Coast will host a key meeting of international standards body 3GPP in September to consider the global standards of 5G in advance of its commercialisation.
The first 5G fixed wireless commercial services are expected to launch next year, but smartphones compatible with the mobile standard may not be widely commercially available until 2020.
Announcing the switch-on, Telstra Operations Executive Director of Network and Infrastructure Engineering Channa Seneviratne said the operator’s 5G rollout is being funded as part of its commitment to invest $5 billion in its mobile networks over the three years ending next June.
This investment is in turn a key element of the company’s T22 organisational and operational transformation strategy, which was first announced in June.
Originally published here.
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