When 5G first rolled out in Australia, it was in extremely limited locations. We’re talking a couple of blocks in a couple of the major cities, but fast forward a few months and the folks at Telstra have been busy.
While they haven’t been terribly public about it, a quick check of the Telstra 5G coverage maps reveals there’s been a lot of 5G rollouts happening in regional areas.
Tomorrow morning Telstra will be the official launch of 5G in Albury Wodonga, however, the 5G coverage areas in just Victoria and New South Wales, includes Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, Warrnambool, Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Wagga Wagga.
Moving up to Queensland and there’s now 5G available in parts of Bundaberg, Cairns, Gold Coast, Ipswitch, Rockhampton, Toowomba and Townsville.
So for 5G rollouts in Tasmania are restricted to Hobart and Launceston, while South Australia just has representation in select parts of Adelaide and for as large as Western Australia is, there’s just coverage in parts of Perth for now.
The following coverage maps are accurate as of the 27th November 2019.
New South Wales
In the chicken and egg game of devices vs network, it seems Telstra are finally building some decent coverage with 5G and if you live or work in any of these areas, its time to consider your next mobile upgrade carefully.
The number of 5G devices is still extremely limited, with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G being one of the most obvious choices. There’s also the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G, LG V50, Oppo Reno 5G and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G to choose from, but the range really is limited compared to 4G options.
So with more available, the natural question is, what kind of speeds can you get from 5G? So far, those early 5G users have been posting speed test results in excess of 1Gbps. That’s certainly going to come down a little as more users join the 5G network, but those kind of speeds aren’t incremental, they’re a serious generation leap from what we have today.
So what could you do with all that speed? Generally, you’ll find that mobile apps that make requests to data services (which don’t these days) will respond much faster, a combination of lower latency and higher bandwidth speeds. In reality, you’ll see the biggest benefits if you tether to a laptop and are downloading large files.
Another other is for a team to grab something like the HTC 5G hub and connect multiple devices that share the bandwidth. This could be the perfect, secure way to connect your devices during a meeting with the team, instead of using that questionable McDonalds Wi-Fi.
Whatever use you can imagine, having data be available at faster speeds and affordable prices is a future I really look forward to. While the 5G rollout will take years to reach the penetration of 4G, it is impressive to see how fast Telstra is rolling out 5G to regional areas.
Interestingly Ookla, the people who make Speedtest.net have the count of international 5G rollouts at 1,250, but don’t yet have many of these Telstra deployments.