Telstra has escalated the Australia 5G War by announcing that it has switched on 5G technology across selected areas of the Gold Coast.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn claimed that the switch-on makes those bits of Telstra’s network the first in Australia to be “5G-ready”. Penn added that the operator plans to make over 200 sites around the country live and 5G-ready by the end of 2018. Telstra said it is using the 3.4-GHz band for the live 5G-ready sites.
Telstra has been experimenting with 5G on the Gold Coast via its 5G Innovation Centre, launched earlier this year, which has served as a springboard for 5G demos such as Wi-Fi hotspots backhauled with 5G and connected cars.
Penn said the “5G-capable sites” on the Gold Coast enable the operator to test 5G pre-commercial devices in real world conditions and use its connected car project to test its 5G footprint.
“It also means we can connect compatible commercial 5G devices for customers in 5G areas as they become available,” Penn added.
Telstra says its three-year network investment plan to get its LTE network 5G-ready – which runs up to June 30, 2019 – amounts to A$5 billion ($3.6 billion) in investment.