Telstra and Optus forge ahead with 5G plans in Australia

Australian telecommunications company Telstra will be testing next generation mobile technologies at its newly opened 5G Innovation Centre at its Southport Exchange on the Gold Coast to support the early commercial deployment of 5G-based mobile services in the country.

The aim to develop the 5G Innovation Centre is to bring technology vendors, developers, start-ups together with Telstra’s enterprise customers. In the coming months, it will conduct 5G trials in and around the area, which will be the location for a meeting of 3GPP in September to consider the global standards for 5G.

According to chief operations officer, Robyn Denholm, the 5G Innovation Centre is established to ensure Australia is among the first countries in the world to gain access to 5G. He said: "5G readiness is part of building Networks for the Future, a key pillar of the up to $3 billion in incremental investment we are making to transform the way we deliver services and bring new products to market.  This investment will mean Telstra continues to deliver Australia’s largest and fastest mobile network.”

Alongside this, another Australian provider, Optus, has also announced its plans to roll out 5G technology by early 2019, with a fixed wireless product in key metro areas. This follows the launch of a successful outdoor trial for 5G New Radio that showed 2Gbps download speeds using a potential device for a fixed wireless service in the home and business.

During the testing, both C-band and mmWave were incorporated as these are considered to be global pioneer bands for 5G, delivering the low latency and extreme speeds associated with 5G. C-band is within the same spectrum range of Optus’ 3.5GHz, which has been assigned for 5G deployment.

In addition, Optus will be hosting a 5G technology showcase during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games that will allow visitors to Broadbeach the ability to experience what 5G will have to offer.

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