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by Peter Familari

28th March, 2018


While it’s taken a hammering over its NBN roll-out, Telstra is getting on the front foot with the unveiling of the world’s first 5G Wi-Fi hotspots today.

The lucky recipients are Gold Coast locals in Southport that is home to Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre Exchange.

The centre looms as the hub for Telstra to test the next generation of mobile technologies in an Australian environment.

The Gold Coast, according to Telstra is a growing hive of demand for leading-edge mobile technologies. Telstra has responded to this burgeoning growth by ploughing a heady $60 million infrastructure upgrade in the area.

Telstra remains unfazed by the fact that compatible 5G smartphones are not available as yet. It says by building backhaul and infrastructure in its Southport Exchange, locals could use the new technology on their current smartphones in a number of Wi-Fi hot spots around suburban Southport.

But before raising your excitement levels at the prospect of using the exceedingly fast 5G technology, the word on the street is,  contain that excitement.

Telstra’s Southport 5G trials are expected to be slower than 5G’s eventual speed.

Telstra confirmed this in a recent announcement adding the end-user’s experience of the 5G trials would also be affected by proximity to hotspots and the number of people using the network.

But the good news is the 5G hotspots won’t cost end-users a cent. Telstra confirmed they are free and anyone is invited to use them, but there is a download limit of 10GB per day for each device.

In an extension of the trials, Telstra has configured a car that it hopes will supply it with more information as it travels the streets and byways of the Gold Coast.

To engineer this motoring first, Telstra had to beaver away scaling down the required 5G electronics.

Telstra Groups’ networks MD Mike Wright said:

At the start of the year our 5G prototype device was the size of a bar fridge. Now, in collaboration with Intel and Ericsson, we have one that has been shrunk down to the size of a personal computer and can be installed in a car.

Taking 5G technology out of a lab and into the hands of consumers is another key milestone on Telstra’s roadmap to offering 5G services in 2019.

Posted in: Technology & Smart Homes Smartphones & Tablets
Tags: telstra  5g 

Peter Familari's avatar

Written by:

Peter Familari

Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected tech and audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to GadgetNET.

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