Telstra announced trial of millimetre wave (mmWave) 5G spectrum and the launch of Australia’s first mmWave 5G-enabled device by mid-year.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said internal testing of the technology had begun and work was underway to roll out trial mobile sites in selected areas ahead of an expected auction of mmWave spectrum in 2021.
“mmWave will supercharge 5G. Its higher capacity and the potential to deliver even faster speeds as well as lower latency will help power the next generation of devices and innovations,” Andrew Penn said.
mmWave is higher frequency spectrum with the potential to deliver even higher 5G speeds and capacity as well low latency. 26 GHz will be the first mmWave band to be used for mobile services in Australia.
Telstra customers’ early access to 5G technology will be in selected areas initially. It will be made possible through ACMA 26 GHz scientific licenses that can be used for trials ahead of the spectrum auction early next year.
Telstra and technology partners Ericson and Qualcomm Technologies recently tested live mobile base station in a commercial network using the 26GHz band.
26GHz is set to become one of the most prevalent spectrum bands for mmWave 5G in the world, including Europe and Asia.
Telstra has rolled out 5G network coverage to selected areas in 32 major and regional cities. It aims to deliver 5G into 35 cities by mid-year. “More than 4 million people pass through our 5G footprint,” Andrew Penn said.
Telstra earlier said its mobile footprint is more than 2.5 million square kilometers, at least 1 million square kilometers more than any other mobile network in Australia. Telstra has built more than 237 new mobile sites and upgraded 267 in the second half of 2019.
Telstra has expanded narrowband IoT coverage to nearly 4 million square kilometers from over 3.5 million. CatM1 IoT coverage is around 3 million square kilometers.
Telstra confirmed its FY 2020 Capex guidance of $2.9 billion to $3.3 billion.
Average download speeds have increased from 200 megabits to 304 megabits per second now. Telstra also recorded about 1.9 gigabit in the live network. Data usage on 5G network has increased more than 28x in the first half.