Thursday, 11 March 2021 00:19

Telstra turns on low-band 5G Featured

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In an important milestone on Telstra's roadmap to bring 5G to more Australians sooner, Australia's biggest telco has completed testing on its low-band 5G spectrum and it is now ready for commercial use.

This low band uses 850MHz, spectrum that Telstra currently use for its 3G network, which was the frequency championed by its Next-G network.

However, as 3G traffic declines, Telstra reports being able to re-purpose part of the spectrum for more efficient and higher value 5G services while still maintaining its 3G services in operation.

The tests and rollout, which started last November, have added another dimension to Telstra's 5G offering with "parts of the network now able to do a 5G data session over distances exceeding 80km."

Channa Seneviratne, the Technology Development and Solutions Executive at Telstra said: “The addition of low band 5G to our network is going to offer greater depth to our 5G coverage and help us bring 5G to some hard to reach places – another part of our drive to make 5G accessible to as many Australians as possible”.

Today, Telstra reports having approximately 1,200 sites activated with the new software, ready for 3rd generation 5G devices.

Meanwhile, Telstra says it is "continuing to work with ecosystem partners to optimise this new 5G network capability in combination with new device software."

Seneviratne added: “We are continuing to test and optimise 5G, work that will unlock further advanced 5G capabilities such as the aggregation of more carrier frequencies, lower latency like the ~ 5mSec we demonstrated previously and the progression of the 5G StandAlone Network which we first enabled in May 2020. We are also readying the 700MHz spectrum to add to our low band 5G”.

Telstra also reminds us that ithas started the roll out of 5G in more than 100 cities and towns and 2000 suburbs across the country, with 3000 5G sites now on-air across Australia.

More than half of Australia’s population now lives within Telstra’s 5G footprint, with the company having "made a commitment to roll out its 5G network to 75% of the population by the end of June."

Meanwhile, there are more than 1,000,000 5G devices on Telstra’s network, with the company "adding thousands of new 5G devices every single week as more customers take up new devices and the roll out continues."


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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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