We’ve enabled 5G in all major Australian cities

We’ve switched on 5G for the first time at sites in Melbourne and Sydney, with early access to the 3.6GHz spectrum we invested in at auction now giving us 5G-enabled sites in all major cities across the country.
· 18 December 2018 · 3 minute read

We’ve switched on 5G for the first time at sites in Melbourne and Sydney, with early access to the 3.6GHz spectrum we invested in at auction now giving us 5G-enabled sites in all major cities across the country.

We’re the first mobile provider to achieve this milestone in Australia, and this also means we’re on track to reach our target of 200 5G-enabled mobile base station sites across the country by the end of this calendar year. When commercial 5G devices become available to buy in 2019, our mobile network will be ready to connect them.

As the first operator to acquire an ‘early access’ licence from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for the $386m of 3.6GHz spectrum we purchased last week, we have turned on our first 5G sites in Sydney and Melbourne.

In Sydney, we have upgraded our Customer Insight Centre at 400 George St with 5G technology as well as a mobile base station near Sydney Airport. In Melbourne the Telstra Labs at 242 Exhibition St has also been enhanced with 5G. A 5G mobile base station near Melbourne Airport will also come online later this week.

We started switching on 5G technology at sites throughout the country in August – making Telstra’s mobile network the first to be 5G ready, as well as the largest and fastest*. We have now enabled 5G at 187 mobile base stations, with 13 more planned before the end of the year.

We’ll also continue to expand our 5G coverage to more cities, regional centres and high traffic areas in 2019 and beyond. Our current 5G upgrades are also expected to help deliver world leading 4G speeds, further improving the network experience for our customers here and now.

As part of our commitment to leading on 5G, we’ve hit some important milestones along the way including the first 5G call, the first 5G to 5G video call, the first live 5G mobile connection and recently our first 5G customer connection. Our 5G rollout is the culmination of an around $8 billion investment over the five years to June 30 2019 to enhance the capacity, capability and reach of our mobile network.

By Channa Seneviratne

Executive - Network technology Development & Solution

Channa Seneviratne is the Executive - Network technology Development & Solutions which is home to the Centres of Expertise for network technology innovation, technology strategy & architecture, the Chief Data Office, data scientists, data engineers, solutions engineering, and technical product owners and delivery competencies. Channa has more than 30 years of experience in telecommunications networks having worked in both Operations and Engineering across both fixed and wireless technologies. During his time in Telstra, Channa has played key engineering design, support and operational roles as Telstra moved from being a start up in wireless through the evolutions of 2G, CDMA, 3G, 4G and now into readiness for 5G. More recently Channa led the launch of the world’s first commercial gigabit LTE network, the activation of Australia’s largest IoT footprint through our Cat M1 and Narrowband IoT technology and the beginning of our 5G network deployment. Channa has a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Queensland. Away from work Channa enjoys travel, sport, wildlife photography and spending time with his two young daughters.