Telstra to start testing superfast 5G network in 2018

Telstra will start testing 5G network technologies in 2018 on the Gold Coast, ahead of a major deployment in 2020.

"Telstra is well placed to evolve our 4G service, and we are putting the building blocks in place for Australia to be ready for 5G," wrote Group Managing Director for Networks Mike Wright on Telstra's official blog.  "Even though a major deployment of 5G is not expected until 2020, there’s lots of work underway around standards, testing, and spectrum and Telstra is at the forefront of these developments. Here’s an overview of what’s underway."

While 5G is still an evolving standard, a network needs to offer speeds of 1 gigabit per second (roughly 125 megabytes per second) to meet the classification. Recent 5G radio tests have resulted in speeds great than 20Gbps per second (roughly 2 gigabytes per second), which is the equivalent of downloading around 4,000 different high definition movies at the same time.

5G networks should also provide an increase in coverage and efficiency. Telstra says these speeds will benefit consumers, facilitate better self-driving cars and drones, and improve automation in industries such as mining and agriculture.

In the lead up to the Gold Coast tests in 2018, Telstra will be running a real world 5G demonstration in September.

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