Telstra’s CEO laid out the company’s 5G plans as more than 600 delegates from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) meet in the Gold Coast in Australia this week.
“5G will underpin the adoption of a whole raft of world changing new technologies including the Internet of Things and driverless cars, so it is not hyperbole to say the 3GPP meeting will be future shaping,” wrote Andrew Penn in a blog post.
“As part of laying the groundwork for 5G we are very proud to support 3GPP and help host them while they are in Australia,” he added.
He also said that Telstra has been “at the forefront of the 5G charge with a string of world and Australian 5G firsts, culminating in our recent launch of 5G network readiness in selected metropolitan and regional areas.” Last month Telstra switched on its first compatible cell sites in the city to enable testing of pre-commercial devices.
The operator is already rolling out 5G technology on its network with 15 sites live in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Toowoomba: it plans to have 200 5G-enabled sites live across Australia by the end of the year.
Penn explained that from Telstra’s perspective, the baseline business case is simple: it is facing rapidly growing volumes of data and needs more efficient ways of meeting its customers’ demands.
He said the operator needs to transform its network economics “and the ten-times greater capacity of 5G at lower cost per bit will help do that for us.”
“While commercial devices for 5G are not yet available, our 5G readiness programme means we can trial and test these as soon as the manufacturers make them available,” he stated.
In an interview with ZDNet, the CEO said Telstra has been a member of 3GPP for some time and its delegates are actively participating in work to set radio access network standards.
“We’ve got a very clear plan and roadmap in progress for where that deployment is going to happen, and we’ve got all of our partners lined up to support that rollout,” he told the publication.