Why would Telstra turn on 5G before you can buy 5G devices?

Today, Telstra turned on 5G for select parts of the Gold Coast. Given there’s not a single device you can buy, why would they bother?  Telstra are taking the...

Today, Telstra turned on 5G for select parts of the Gold Coast. Given there’s not a single device you can buy, why would they bother? 

Telstra are taking the first step in the chicken / egg race between infrastructure and devices. A 5G device without a 5G network is not particularly useful, so infrastructure has to come first, enabling 5G devices business first and eventually consumer, can be tested. 

Having 5G enabled will enable test devices on the 3.4GHz spectrum to ensure by the time 5G consumer devices are available, the network runs as expected at the new, incredibly high speeds, with low-latency.

So far we’ve seen some incredible 5G speed tests from the lab, but now with a public 5G network, test devices from multiple manufacturers can be tested in real-world scenarios, with real world interference. 

This is also just the beginning of 5G deployment, with more than 200 5G-capable sites planned to be live around the country by the end of 2018. 

Earlier in 2018, year, Telstra opened a 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast, providing preliminary testing for the early commercial deployment of 5G.

Just was with previous iterations of mobile networks around the globe, 5G standards are still being refined and the Gold Coast will play host to a key 3GPP standards meeting in early September, to discuss the global standards for 5G. For that reason it makes sense they could actually test at least one implementation of 5G. 

More information at Telstra Exchange.

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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.
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