Telstra has completed testing on its low-band 5G spectrum and said it is now ready for commercial use.
This was described in a statement as “an important milestone on our roadmap to bring 5G to more Australians sooner” as the company aims to bring 5G to 75 percent of the population by the end of June.
The telco is repurposing part of its 850MHz spectrum, currently used for its 3G network, to use for 5G services as 3G traffic declines. The 3G network will continue to operate.
Telstra technology development and solutions executive Channa Seneviratne said, “the addition of low band 5G to our network is going to offer greater depth to our 5G coverage and help us bring 5G to some hard to reach places – another part of our drive to make 5G accessible to as many Australians as possible”.
The tests and rollout started last November and now parts of the network are able to do a 5G data session over distances exceeding 80km. There are currently around 1,200 sites activated with the new software, ready for 5G devices.
The company is continuing to work with ecosystem partners to optimise this new 5G network capability in combination with new device software.
Seneviratne added, “we are continuing to test and optimise 5G, work that will unlock further advanced 5G capabilities such as the aggregation of more carrier frequencies, lower latency like the ~5mSec we demonstrated previously and the progression of the 5G stand alone network which we first enabled in May 2020. We are also readying the 700MHz spectrum to add to our low band 5G”.
Telstra has started the rollout of 5G in more than 100 cities and towns and 2000 suburbs across the country and there are now 3000 5G sites on-air across Australia.