75% of Australians can get 5G with Telstra, achieves new range record with 113km call

    5G may be something you are yet to experience, but it’s certainly coming and coming fast. Telstra has announced a milestone with their 5G rollout today, achieving coverage for three quarters of all Australians at home. Obviously this is a different number to those who can get it at work, or while they travel, but it is a significant step forward in the rollout of the next generation mobile networks.

    Telstra Group Executive Networks & IT Nikos Katinakis confirmed that Telstra had achieved its goal, set last year, to roll out Telstra 5G to 75% of Australians by the end of June 2021.

    In the last 6 months alone, Telstra has switched on 5G services in selected areas of more than 100 regional towns and cities including Echuca-Moama, Castlemaine, Port Douglas, Yass, Murray Bridge, Devonport, and Esperance taking the total to more than 200 towns and cities nationally.

    If you’re wondering if you’re home is covered by 5G and you could take advantage of the additional speeds and lower latency, you can check the Telstra coverage map here.

    “One of our priorities over the last year was bringing Telstra 5G to as many people as possible and this major milestone means that now three-quarters of Australians live where there is Telstra 5G.

    We’ve extended Telstra 5G well beyond the inner cities to our suburbs, regional centres and rural areas. We have almost three times the number of 5G sites as our nearest competition and nearly twice the amount of people covered.

    While our competitors have largely been ignoring regional Australia, at least as far as 5G is concerned, we’ve been busy building a Telstra 5G network more regional Australians are using each and every day.

    We now have more than 1.5 million 5G devices live on our network and we’re adding thousands more every week as we continue switching on more 5G sites across the country.”

    Telstra Group Executive Networks & IT Nikos Katinakis

    While 3G may not be long for this world, Telstra’s 4G network is still expanding, now covering more than 2 million square kilometres with coverage to 99.4% of the population.

    Telstra says they are committed to grow this further over the next few years to match Telstra’s current 3G footprint of 2.5 million square kilometres and reach 99.5% of the population.

    “Telstra’s 4G network will continue to play a crucial role in the future, which is why we’ve continued expanding our 4G footprint to cover more than two million square kilometres of Australia.

    Telstra has the most expansive 4G and 5G coverage in Australia and we lead the competition by a country mile.

    We’ve switched on Telstra 5G on low band 850MHz and our carrier aggregation technology means better connectivity for our customers on the fringe of 5G coverage areas and even greater in-building coverage.

    We see mmWave playing a critical role in the future not only as demand for data continues to grow but also as an enabler for new enterprise and consumer use cases. Low band spectrum is still extremely important, especially in regional and remote Australia, but mmWave will be the key to growing capacity and depth of coverage in our larger cities and towns.

    In the next few months, we’ll be starting customer trials to explore the role 5G Standalone can play in real-time business applications.”

    Telstra Group Executive Networks & IT Nikos Katinakis

    You may have heard that 5G offers crazy fast speeds and you’d be correct, however, the top speeds are achieved using the mmWave spectrum, which Telstra recently invested $277 million and already has around 50 sites live in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Goulburn. 

    5G is really branding that covers a range of spectrums, some of which allows long distances, like the 850MHz band.

    Telstra, in collaboration with Ericsson, announced today that they have successfully completed the longest 5G data call at a massive distance of 113km from a Telstra commercial mobile site in Gippsland Victoria. This world record long-distance leveraged Ericsson’s latest commercial 5G SA network software and when deployed, will enable Telstra to expand its 5G footprint even further in regional areas.

    While we don’t know the specific phone used, Telstra assures us that the extended range 5G call was conducted using a commercially available smartphone.

    This achievement is another example of Telstra’s drive to innovate for the benefit of all of its customers, particularly those in regional areas. Australia’s geography and demography present challenges to any network provider, but it is Telstra’s commitment to meet those challenges and bring its technology to all its customers that fuels such innovation. And it is that innovation, in partnership with Ericsson, that puts Telstra in a leadership position globally when it comes to 5G”.

    Nikos Katinakis, Telstra Group Executive Networks & IT

    “This new world record of an extended 5G cell range of 113km is a huge win for rural and regional Australia giving Telstra another coverage capability option. Whether it’s enabling remote learning, especially during times of lockdown, or even facilitating remote telehealth over 5G and more such applications, this announcement today demonstrates both Telstra and Ericsson’s dedication to empowering everyday Australians with faster speeds, greater convenience and superior connectivity.”

    Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson, Australia and New Zealand

    Telstra will selectively enable this long-range capability based on the local requirements and environment of each mobile site.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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