Breaking the 5G speed barrier with new records

We love records. They’re a milestone. A route marker. Records tell us what’s next when it comes to performance, especially for our incredible 5G network, which has just shattered another: a whopping download speed of 5Gbps for a single user on the commercial network.
Nikos Katinakis · 20 January 2021 · 3 minute read

Working closely with our friends from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Ericsson, we reached this new maximum download speed at our 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast just before Christmas.

This new milestone represents Telstra’s approach to network leadership. Records set in the production network today are part of Telstra’s constant evolution towards better connectivity and more advanced network capabilities delivering the best possible user experience for our customers. The learnings from delivering these speeds assist us in optimising the wider scale deployment of the technology.

This is the second time in three months that we have set a new download speed record. Just three months ago we clocked 4.2Gbps, also using 5G mmWave technologies. That record represented a doubling of our previous capacity and speed, and our work with mmWave indicates we’re not done breaking boundaries yet.

We believe mmWave is the next important iteration of 5G, technology that will take 5G to the next level, something we have been testing and working with the global ecosystem partners on Australia’s intended frequency (26GHz) since 2017. We have come a long way from the customised equipment we used back then and this achievement is truly world leading.

It is this mmWave technology that we expect to roll out to our customers in 2021 following the auction of spectrum licenses and the growth in availability of mmWave compatible handsets and other devices.

Behind the scenes, we are continuing to work on mmWave and other 5G technologies such as 5G Standalone (5G SA) to make sure that our customers are among the first in the world to benefit from these incredible speeds and network capabilities.

It is for this reason that we are thrilled to have yet again set a new maximum download speed record, as we continue to build our new network and position ourselves for a big 2021, powered by 5G.

For the tech-heads out there, the new record was achieved on the live 5G network by using the Ericsson Radio System complete base station for millimeter wave (mmWave), the Streetmacro 6701 aggregating 800MHz of mmWave spectrum with a 4G LTE anchor band. It was conducted on a 5G smartphone form factor mobile test device, powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X60 5G Modem-RF System with 3rd generation Qualcomm® QTM535 mmWave antenna modules. The smartphone form factor has a few more options for us to test with and download software.

We’re excited to use this tech and more gear from our 5G Innovation Centre to shatter more global records soon.

Things you need to know

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm Snapdragon and Qualcomm QTM535 are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.


By Nikos Katinakis

Group Executive, Networks & IT

Relocating from Toronto, Nikos Katinakis joined Telstra on 15 October 2018 as Group Executive Networks & IT. In this critical role Nikos is responsible for ensuring Telstra delivers next generation network technologies to create the largest, smartest, safest and most reliable networks in the world. This includes rolling out new technology developments, such as those related to 5G, as well as maintaining and enhancing Telstra’s IT platforms. Nikos was previously Executive Vice President Networks for Reliance Jio in India where he was responsible for rolling out the first pan-India 4G LTE Network, with a focus on data management, and enhancing and stabilising the various operating platforms. In his second Jio assignment, Nikos led their wireline/fixed consumer business with the objective to launch full commercial services across major cities in India, while fully automating and simplifying workflows and the customer experience. Prior to this, Nikos was SVP of Architecture and Technology Development for Network and IT at Canada’s Rogers Communications, as well as Chief Information Security Officer, where he was responsible for the technology strategy, selection, and roadmap that guided Rogers’ deployment of next generation capabilities across all access networks and services.

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