We’ve known for some time that 5G technologies will start rolling out around Australia some time in 2020, but in a post on its Exchange blog today, Telstra has indicated that we might not have to wait until then to get our first taste of the technology.
According to Telstra’s Group MD of Networks Mike Wright, the network is eyeballing 2018’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast for the country’s first 5G trial.
The Gold Coast trial will be “used to test beam-forming, MIMO and NFV and SDN technologies”, according to Wright.
Currently, Telstra is working with Ericsson to develop the 5G technology, and recently demonstrated speeds of 11Gbps in a trial in Sweden.
No time like the present
While the rollout of 5G is tantalising in its promise for amazing future speeds, Telstra isn’t quite done with 4G just yet.
Later this year, Telstra will launch its first Category 16 certified personal hotspot, which will offer theoretical 1Gbps download speeds and 150Mbps upload speeds. Initially, those speeds will be restricted to the CBD areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The device itself will feature a 4,300 mAh battery and support up to 20 concurrent Wi-Fi connections. Designed exclusively for Telstra with Netgear, the hotspot is expected to be the first Cat 16 device in the world.
Telstra wasn’t content with just announcing speed improvements to its network though. Also coming this year is Voice over Wi-Fi, which will allow a solid voice connection wherever you are at home, using your Telstra home broadband connection.
Video over LTE promises the ability to make video calls seamlessly, without requiring a new app or remembering a password.
And finally, Telstra expects to roll out LTE-Broadcast in a big way this year, having enabled the tech at over 3000 4GX sites across the country.