Telstra has revealed plans to offer its own 5G services by next year as it gears up for more trials in 2018.
Rival Optus was first out the door with its own 5G announcement three days earlier, saying it will offer a 5G fixed wireless product in "key metro areas" in early 2019.
Telstra claimed a world first with a series of 5G trials in November by trialling data calls over the mmWave spectrum, one of the technologies being considered globally for 5G deployments. Optus also incorporated mmWave technology in its own 5G trials.
Telstra group managing director of networks Mike Wright told the Australian Financial Review that the telco plans to launch its own offerings in 2019.
To support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services, Telstra today announced that it has opened the doors to its 5G Innovation Centre at its Southport Exchange on the Gold Coast.
The centre was designed to allow Telstra to collaborate with technology vendors, developers, startups and enterprise customers during the early stages of the rollout, including ongoing 5G field trials around the Gold Coast.
“Telstra has already conducted Australia’s first 5G field trial and the world’s first 5G outdoor data call over 26GHz ‘mmWave’ radiofrequency spectrum," said Telstra COO Robyn Denholm.
"From our new 5G Innovation Centre we will be completing a number of 5G firsts in 2018 to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of mobile technology.”
The centre also comes just in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held on the Gold Coast, where Telstra said it will demonstrate 5G technology with speeds of around 3Gbps down and 300 Mbps up over the mmWave spectrum.
The Gold Coast will also play host to a meeting of international standard setting body 3GPP in September to consider the global standards for 5G technology.
“We look forward to hosting leading 5G developers from around the world so Australian businesses can begin developing products and services that will take advantage of 5G," said Denholm.
"Our activities at the Innovation Centre will culminate in the 3GPP meeting later in 2018 that will play a critical role in setting the 5G standards underpinning the launch of commercial services.”