Telstra takes lead in 5G, just like everybody else


Australia’s dominant carrier, Telstra, has joined World+Dog in promising to take the lead in the 5G race, with a roadmap that reaches all the way to next year.

The main thrust of the carrier’s talk to Mobile World Congress and accompanying canned release is actually the immediate future of its 4G network.

The carrier promises to get busy deploying its LTE-Advanced Cat 9 infrastructure, which it crowed aboutin November 2014 in a test with Ericsson and Qualcomm.

In that test, three 20 MHz channels in different spectrum bands were bonded together to get 450 Mbps.

It will start deployment in April, ahead of device availability “later in 2015”. There’s also a Netgear hotspot device promised before year-end.

Voice-over-LTE and LTE Broadcast (for video delivery) are also on the roadmap, with the network to be ready in April and May 2015 respectively, and service launches later in the year.

The carrier reckons LTE Broadcast will be increasingly deployed in “key venues and major events, initially for testing and then for customer access on compatible devices later in 2015. Once launched, customers with compatible devices will have access to dedicated high quality content”.

VoLTE will first be tested on “more than ten” smartphones. Once launched, users will be able to move between 3G and 4G networks without losing calls on supported devices.

As for leading the 5G race, what’s actually on the table is that the carrier is going to continue working with long-time partner Ericsson on lab and field tests as development of the standards and technology continues. ®

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