Telstra flicks on 5G in the Gold Coast

Telstra flicks on 5G in the Gold Coast

Pins more than 200 5G-capable sites to go live this year

Andrew Penn (Telstra)

Andrew Penn (Telstra)

Telstra has switched on its 5G network technology across selected areas of the Gold Coast in Queensland.

Telstra CEO, Andrew Penn, said this was just the beginning of the provider's 5G rollout, with more than 200 5G-capable sites planned to go live around the country by the end of the year.

Penn also added that it will support the ongoing testing of next generation mobile technologies in Australian conditions to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services.

“Today we have switched on 5G-capable sites on the Gold Coast, which enable us to test 5G pre-commercial devices in real world conditions and use unique innovations like our Connected Car to test our 5G footprint," he said.

"It also means we can connect compatible commercial 5G devices for customers in 5G areas as they become available.

"Over the coming months we will continue expanding our 5G coverage with plans to roll out to more capital cities, regional centres and other high demand areas."

The rollout of 5G technology is underpinned by around $5 billion in mobile network investment over the three years to 30 June 2019 and is a key element of Telstra’s T22 strategy.

“Telstra has a history of innovating and adopting the next generation of wireless technology ahead of the curve," Penn added. "With our mobile network now 5G ready in selected areas, we will continue deploying the technology and developing innovative services and use cases for our customers."

In March, Telstra had turned on its first precinct of 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in the Gold Coast allowing free access to locals and visitors while it evaluated 5G technology.

“We have said we intend to lead on 5G and with these 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots Australian consumers will be among the first people in the world to try the technology,” Telstra Group managing director networks Mike Wright said at the time.

“Taking 5G technology out of a lab and into the hands of consumers is another key milestone on Telstra’s roadmap to offering 5G services in 2019.”

In July, Telstra revealed more about what its new structure will look like after shaking up its top-line organisational structure - this resulted in a variety of appointments and departures, alongside the establishment of a new end-to-end products and technology division.

The round of high-profile job cuts saw CFO Warwick Bray, head of technology Stephen Elop, group general counsel, Will Irving and CMO Joe Pollard exiting the business.

Penn, said the T22 strategy - set to impact more than 8000 Telstra employees - was a multi-year transformation program that will impact teams at different times and to varying degrees.

The new appointments included Brendan Riley as the new CEO of Telstra InfraCo, while Michael Ebeid, was hired to run Telstra’s enterprise team across Australian and international business and government customers.

Nikos Katinakis also joins Telstra in October to lead the company's Networks and IT division.

“At the heart of these changes is the simplification of our products and services built on new technology," Penn added. "By mid-next year, we will have fully rolled out our products and services."

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