According to the road map, Telstra has invested $1.5 billion into what the telco is calling the “Future program”, with initial work on the new 5G infrastructure to wind up by June 2019.
Before that, however, trials will be carried out with vendor partners at the new 5G Innovation Centre established on the Gold Coast. This will be followed with 4G-5G integration trials, including interoperability testing for the new 5G Non Stand-Alone (NSA) 3GPP New Radio (NR) standard.
“It’s not a case of simply flicking a switch in 2019,” said Telstra’s Chief Operating Officer Robyn Denholm. “We are already working with vendors like Ericsson, Qualcomm and Intel today to develop the end-to-end 5G ecosystem. At the same time we are pushing the boundaries of 4G so we can continue to offer Australia’s largest and fastest mobile network and prepare for the 4G and 5G technology layers to integrate in future.”
Telstra will also participate in a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) meeting this year “to consider 5G commercial standards”.
Double the speed
While we wait for the 5G network to roll out in 2019, Telstra has promised to increase the speed on its current 4G setup; a planned rollout of 2Gbps-enabled 4G service will begin this year in “select high traffic locations”, made possible by the deployment of over 1,000 cells in metro areas.
“Australian consumers and businesses don’t need to wait for 5G to enjoy fast mobile speeds,” Mike Wright, Telstra’s Group Managing Director Networks, added. “We are deploying the best technology available in the world today to support every growing demand for data and speed from our customers.”
Although Telstra has already demonstrated the double-speed capacity 4G network in Australia, the telco plans to showcase it live at the MWC again.
- MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.