Telstra is the first mobile carrier to complete a standalone 5G upgrade to its national network.
While the technology is not yet broadly adopted, the carrier said 5G devices would work on the network without support from 4G as was previously the case.
The new system is underpinned by what Telstra calls a “Cloud Native 5G Core Network” designed to handle the speed and data created by 5G capable devices.
The dramatic increase in bandwidth that comes with 5G has made network slicing possible.
A feature which splits resources into logical or virtual networks called slices addresses use cases with distinct characteristics and service level agreement (SLA) requirements.
Telstra said it expected big business and app developers would experiment with these capabilities.
The telco said it had been testing early pre-commercial 5G standalone-capable devices and expected general availability in late 2020.
Consumer adoption will be slower due to the availability of compatible smartphones, tablets and sim enabled laptops.
Telstra’s network executive Nikos Katinakis said: “Working together with our technology partner Ericsson, our new 5G service-based architecture will allow us to create innovative new services and solutions and deliver these much quicker than in the past.”