Wednesday, 22 May 2019 12:27

Telstra launches Australia's first 5G mobile hotspot, also supports 4G, but no 3G

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The HTC 5G Hub can be ordered today, delivering 5G speeds in active areas, and working as a 4GX modem elsewhere (although no 3G capabilities are within), with Telstra saying it isn't just Australia's first 5G/4GX media hotspot, but the world's, too.

Available for both consumers and businesses, Telstra tells us that its new 5G Hub "functions equally as a secure mobile corporate solution and a family entertainment hub that can leverage 5G to stream shows and games to your TV in 4K".

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn, who made a post at the Telstra Exchange blog, said the launch of the HTC 5G Hub "signified one of the company’s most important milestones in the transition to 5G, with customers now able to order a 5G device and, in select areas, enjoy 5G connectivity via the Telstra network".

Penn continued: “Our launch of the HTC 5G Hub is the moment 5G becomes a reality for Australian consumers.

“Since 2016, we have been working with some of the world’s leading technology brands to ensure Australians are among the first in the world to be able to access 5G.

“HTC has been a key partner for Telstra, innovating new technologies and driving greater connectivity for our customers. This launch of Australia’s first 5G mobile device is a testament to that partnership" Mr Penn continued “and we are proud to be launching it today”.

HTC Australia's own info and spec page is here, where we can see there doesn't appear to be a 3G capability to the hotspot, although given the hotspot is likely to be used in a stationary position in 5G areas, in major city centres and airports before moving to major regional city centres, this isn't the biggest deal - especially as those customers probably already have existing 3G/4G devices - and 3G/4G smartphones. 

However those who wish to use their 5G hotspot in the same way they use their existing 3G/4G hotspot, which means anywhere, might be surprised when they drop out of 4G coverage and discover the HTC 5G Hub says "no service". I have contacted Telstra to inquire about 3G connectivity but no response as yet, but the specs page tells the story - it would say if 3G was supported, and it's not listed. 

Again, not the hugest of deals but still, I can't think of a good reason to have removed 3G connectivity just yet. 

Thomas Dexmier, country manager, HTC Australia and New Zealand said: “HTC is very proud to partner with Telstra to bring the first 5G media hotspot to Australia.

"With the HTC 5G Hub, customers will be able to experience the power and speed of Telstra’s 5G network in an innovative device, that combines the advanced capabilities of a mobile hotspot with the versatility of the Android operating system, allowing them to connect at home, at work, and on the go.”

As Telstra reminds us, "5G has the potential to transform the way we all live and work, offering Australians the promise of better connectivity through greater network capacity, ultra-low latency, and faster speeds".

Penn added: “This is just the start. The roll out of 5G coverage is ongoing and, as 5G develops, there will be more devices and more technologies to come. But this is an important step we take today, as the first Australian network to offer mobile 5G”.

Indeed, the move follows today's Samsung announcement of its first 5G smartphone, the S10 5G, which also goes on sale today and will be available to the public from May 28 in Australia.

Telstra states that its "5G rollout aims to bring the technology to areas where it matters most to customers" and that "its current footprint focusses on CBD locations and selected regional centres that over 4 million people live, work or pass through every day."

Throughout 2019, Telstra says it "will be extending its 5G footprint even further to cover more cities, selected regional areas and traffic hotspots, ensuring even more Australians can access Telstra’s leading 5G technology".

Consumers can see the 5G HTC Hub pricing here, while business customers can see pricing here

For consumers, there are three plans - small, medium and large, on a 24 month contract.

  • The small plan costs $70 per month over 24 months, with 25GB of data, being 10GB + 15GB Bonus data, at a minimum cost of $1680.
  • The medium plan costs $94 per month over 24 months, with 60GB of data, being 30GB + 30GB Bonus data, at a minimum cost of $2256.
  • The large plan costs $104 per month over 24 months, with 100GB of data, being 80GB + 20GB Bonus data, at a minimum cost of $2496.

Extra data is listed at $10 per 1GB.

For business customers, there are six plans, listed as S, M, L, XL, XXL and the My Business Wireless Broadband Plan.

The contract is for 24 months with extra data listed at $10 per 1GB.

  • The S plan is $60 with 2GB data, being 1GB data + 1GB Bonus at a min cost of $1440, with data being "shareable".
  • The M plan is $70 with 15GB data, being 5GB data + 10GB Bonus at a min cost of $1680, with data being "shareable".
  • The L plan is $84 with 30GB data, at a min cost of $2016, with data being "shareable".
  • The XL plan is $94 with 50GB data, at a min cost of $2256 (including a $10 auto applied credit), with data being "shareable".
  • The XXL plan is $104 with 90GB data, at a min cost of $2496, with data being "shareable".
  • The My Business Wireless Broadband Plan plan is $104 with 150GB data, at a min cost of $2496 (including a $10 auto applied credit, with data being "NON shareable".

So, what is more detail on the HTC 5G Hub?

We're told "the HTC 5G Hub is the world’s first 5G/4GX media hotspot, designed to be a portable, ultra-fast travel router that allows you to share or stream content on the go. It boasts an all-day battery life and is able to support up to 20 Wi-Fi enabled devices and a gigabit Ethernet connection.

"The HTC 5G Hub offers business users secure mobile connectivity with corporate VPN authentication and remote wipe capability but is just as easily put to use as an entertainment hub and a voice-activated remote control for other smart devices in your home."

Technical Specifications / Capabilities:

Dimensions
129 x 100 x 43 mm

4G / 5G
Dual mode 5G / 4GX (Cat.20)​

According to the 5G Hub specs page:

  • Nano SIM
  • Support up to 2.63 Gbps downlink. Uplink 287 Mbps
  • 4G LTE (Australia)
  • · FDD: Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, 28, 66
  • · TDD: Bands 38, 41
  • 5G NR Band: n78

Weight
340 g​

Platform
Android 9.0 Pie

Battery ​
7,660 mAh​

SIM Type
Nano (4FF)

Battery life
Up to 24 hours active time and 800 hours standby.

Memory
4GB Ram. 32GB Storage (Expandable up to 512GB with Micro SD)

Available Colours
Black

Ports
Ethernet/USB Type C​

Display
5.0” HD capacitive touch screen

In The Box
Device and battery, AC adapter (12V/2.5A of 30W), SIM eject pin, QSG, manufacturer’s warranty card, safety guide

Telstra 5G HTC Hub

Here the HTC 5G Hub video: 

Here's Telstra's 5G explainer video:

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