TELSTRA has achieved the first live 5G connection in Australia using a commercial 5G chipset on its mobile network.
The live 5G 3GPP R15 data call was achieved using a ‘form factor device’ working with two of Telstra’s network partners, Ericsson and Qualcomm on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Channa Seneviratne, Telstra’s Network Engineering Executive said today’s announcement signaled that commercial 5G devices were getting closer and closer.
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“Telstra’s strategic relationship with these global industry partners allows Telstra to test, understand and demonstrate real world 5G capability so we can advance the deployment of 5G and immediately bring it to our customers as soon as devices are commercially available,” Seneviratne said.
“Field testing in our real-world mobile network with this chipset over our commercial spectrum moves the verification well and truly from the lab into the street.
“The team will continue testing over the coming months to improve data rates and overall performance in readiness for device availability.”
It’s the latest in a series of 5G firsts for Telstra, with the network launching its 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast, supported by Ericsson, back in February.
The Centre has since been home to several world and Australian firsts including the world’s first precinct of 5G-enabled WiFi hotspots, and Australia’s first 5G Connected Car.
It’s also home to the world’s first end-to-end 5G non-standalone data call on a commercial mobile network, and the launch of over 50 5G-enabled sites around the country.
Telstra’s rollout of 5G is underpinned by the around $5 billion in mobile network investment over the three years to 30 June 2019, consistent with previous guidance, to enhance the capacity, capability and reach of Telstra’s network.