Telstra gains early access to trial mmWave 5G

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Telstra gains early access to trial mmWave 5G
Telstra's Andy Penn

Telstra has signalled its next move in Australia’s 5G landscape by giving customers early access to the mmWave spectrum.

The millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum offers users higher frequencies and data capacity and lower latency, ultimately leading to faster download speeds than other 5G spectrums.

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn revealed at a media event on Thursday that the telco had brokered a partnership with the Australia’s communications regulator the ACMA to gain trial licenses for the 26 GHz band spectrum, which will eventually be used for mmWave services.

ACMA will auction mmWave spectrum to prospective telcos in the first quarter of 2021. It goes without saying that Telstra will be buying up as much bandwidth as it can when the auction takes place.

Telstra will trial the technology in “selected areas” but wouldn’t disclose any other specifics on the trials. Telstra’s 5G lead Paul Milford did however reveal that the company has been trialling 5G technology with Melbourne’s MCG. Penn added that users can expect “gigabit speeds” during trials.

“mmWave will supercharge 5G. Its higher capacity and the potential to deliver even faster speeds as well as lower latency will help power the next generation of devices and innovations,” said Penn.

“Not only will customers be able to enjoy trying out the benefits of mmWave in selected areas early, it means we will be on the front foot when spectrum is made available via the auction in 2021.”

To accompany the launch of mmWave, Telstra will launch its first mmWave-enabled device, the Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro router, which will also be Telstra’s first branded 5G device.

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