Telstra tests 5G-enabled Wi-Fi in Gold Coast - Mobile World Live

Telstra tests 5G-enabled Wi-Fi in Gold Coast

28 MAR 2018

Telstra turned on 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots on two streets in Gold Coast to give users in the city a taste of 5G as it evaluates the next-generation mobile technology.

In a move the operator said is a world first, people in the areas covered are being offered free internet access up to a maximum daily download limit of 10GB per device. Mike Wright, Telstra’s MD Networks, said it is using the connectivity from its recently opened 5G Innovation Centre to power a series of Wi-Fi hotspots as well as Australia’s first 5G connected car.

“We have said we intend to lead on 5G, and with these 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots Australian consumers will be among the first people in the world to try the technology,” Wright said.

“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.”

Although there are currently no 5G-compatible smartphones or tablets available commercially, Telstra explained in a statement that connecting 5G backhaul and infrastructure in its exchange to a standard Wi-Fi access point enables people to experience the technology on their existing devices.

Wright explained limits on Wi-Fi throughput means a single hotspot cannot come close to reaching the limits of 5G at its Innovation Centre: “By using multiple hotspots with potentially hundreds of smartphone users served through a single 5G device we are able to get closer to demonstrating 5G in a real world environment,” he explained.

“Our 5G backhaul is capable of delivering download speeds of more than 3Gb/s, which is capable of supporting around 1,000 HD movies being streamed simultaneously.”

Telstra is also using mmWave spectrum to put a connected car on the road with the Intel 5G Automotive Trial Platform. The operator said it is achieving download speeds approaching 1Gb/s inside the car, which is also equipped with a Wi-Fi access point.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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