Wednesday, 20 October 2021 13:24

Telstra records 3.6Gbps download speeds and 140Mbps upload speeds on its mmWave 5G network using the new Pixel 6 Pro Featured


At a 5G mmWave site in Telstra's George St store, Telstra's head of Technology Discovery and Validation, Paul Milford, has achieved speeds of 3.622Gpbs down and 140Mbps up, and while we don't yet know what speeds tens or even hundreds of thousands of people with future 5G mmWave phones will be getting, this is still an impressive achievement.

Paul Milford is Telstra's CoE Lead - Technology Discovery and Validation, and he's not one for mmWavering when it comes to taking advantage of the latest technologies, but instead, surfing the mmWaves to the tune of mighty fine multi-gigabit speeds.

Using one of Google's brand new Pixel 6 Pro smartphones, which are available for pre-order now and which are available from October 29 onwards, Milford shared a screenshot in his LinkedIn post that shows a 3.622Gbps download speed, and importantly, an upload speed of 140Mbps.

Upload speeds in the modern era are just as important as download speeds, with the amount of upload bandwidth making a difference to the quality of the image people see when you connect with them via Zoom (although the quality of your computer's webcam or device's front facing camera makes a difference, too), but it also determines how smooth remote control of other computers feels, how smooth remote working feels, how fast your devices upload and backup data to the cloud, and more.

So the 3.6Gbps download speed is fantastic, and a 140Mbps upload speed is great to see, too.

Of course, it will be fascinating to see what speeds on mmWave networks are achieved once hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and eventually hundreds of thousands and millions of people are connecting to mmWave 5G networks, but just as 2G, 3G and 4G networks and devices delivered ever faster ways to transfer data, so too will 5G be receiving all kinds of updates to ensure ever faster speeds, connectivity and capacity, too .

Indeed, Telstra reminds us that mmWave is the next stage in the evolution of 5G, Telstra's or otherwise, and that "5G already dramatically improves the capacity of the network, but mmWave multiplies that by a factor of ten and can deliver even faster speeds."

We also reminded: "mmWave signal only travels a few hundred metres from a cell, so it is best suited for areas of intensive customer demand such as transport hubs, shopping districts and even sports stadiums or tourism hotspots, such as the Sydney Opera House at New Year’s Eve. mmWave can allow tens of thousands of people at such locations to connect, stream or upload photographs simultaneously."

So, how many mmWave 5G sites are already installed in Australia, with that figure clearly not enough for Apple to launch its iPhone 13 Pro models with mmWave 5G capabilities in Australia as yet, but which they'll presumably be ready to go with in 2022 and the iPhone 14, and which Google certainly was ready to go with on its Pixel 6 Pro model?

Telstra explains it has "already begun rolling out mmWave 5G with 65 sites currently live and plans to nearly triple that number before the end of the calendar year."

In addition, among others, Telstra currently has mmWave sites live providing coverage around the following locations:

  • The QVB, Opera House and Darling Harbour in Sydney,
  • The MCG and Flinders Lane in Melbourne
  • And Fortitude Valley in Brisbane.

So, to catch the mmWave, you'll need an mmWave capable 5G phone, and in Australia, that is the Google Pixel 6 Pro.

Clearly, however, we'll see plenty more mmWave 5G in the months to come as mmWave 5G is rolled out ever more widely, not only by Telstra, but by Optus and Vodafone too, although we expect Telstra will be leading the race to have the widest 5G mmWave footprint first, as is the case with its 5G, 4G and 3G networks.

Here's Telstra's Exchange blog post on 50 of its young engineers testing the 5G mmWave network. 

So, the future is mmWaving to you, and with one of the new Google Pixel 6 Pro models, in an mmWave equipped location, you can mmWave right back!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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