Telstra has switched on 5G for the first time at sites in Melbourne and Sydney, after it was given early access to the 3.6 GHz spectrum it won at auction last week.
With the upgrades at Telstra’s Customer Insight Centre at 400 George Street in Sydney, a mobile base station near Sydney Airport, Telstra Labs at 242 Exhibition Street in Melbourne – and with another mobile base station near Melbourne Airport slated to com online later by week’s end – the telco said it had now completed 187 5G upgrades across the country.
CEO Andrew Penn said Telstra now had 5G- enabled sites in all major cities across the country. “This is a crucial component of our plans to bring 5G services to as many of our customers as possible once 5G compatible devices are commercially available next year, and another significant milestone in expanding its 5G coverage to capital cities, regional centres and other high demand areas,” Penn said.
Last week Telstra secured between 30-80 MHz nationwide in the 3.6 GHz spectrum auction held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Combined with existing holdings, Telstra now has 60 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all major capital cities and between 50-80 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in regional areas.
Telstra is also the first operator to acquire an ‘early access’ licence from the ACMA for the 3.6 GHz spectrum sold in the auction, enabling it to turn on its first 5G sites in Sydney and Melbourne.
“5G is expected to completely transform the mobile landscape and Telstra will continue to lead and bring this technology to Australians first. This series of network upgrades is not only making Telstra’s mobile network 5G ready but is also expected to help deliver world leading 4G speeds.” Penn added. “Over the coming months Telstra will continue expanding its 5G coverage with plans to roll out the technology and grow coverage to more cities, regional centres and high traffic areas.”