FKG Group has become the first Telstra customer in Australian to use a commercial 5G device on Telstra's network.
The Toowoomba-based construction and engineering firm will use Telstra’s HTC 5G Hub mobile broadband device before the product is commercially launched next year.
According to Telstra, FKG was given the device for free in order to test its features and connectivity, plus assess Telstra’s service as sites are upgraded from 4G to 5G.
Once HTC launches the 5G Hub, FKG will have the option of purchasing the product, although its expected value has not yet been revealed.
Telstra said it chose FKG due to its ambitions to develop an agritech innovation centre and follows the launch of the company's $40 million Tier 3 Pule Data Centre earlier this year, which was built in partnership with the telco.
Although Toowoomba has been connected to Telstra’s 5G since August last year, the entire experience benefits of 5G are not expected to fully launch until the first half of next year.
Once fully connected, however, the device will allow FKG to use 5G for connected transport, logistics and agribusiness. There are now 22 5G-enabled sites in the area where FKG is located.
“This launch is a vital first step toward enabling a 5G experience with a customer, bringing together a first generation device with Telstra’s 5G network using the 3Gpp standards for the first time,” Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said.
“We are now at a critical point in time where we can start bringing together our 5G ready network and 5G commercial devices with our customers.”
As reported by Computerworld, Telstra first demonstrated the HTC 5G Hub connecting to its live mobile network in Sydney last week.
Earlier this week, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced the results of its 5G spectrum auction, which saw Telstra win the biggest chunk of 3.6 GHz band for $386 million.
The telco, which last week claimed it had made the first 5G-5G video call, will have spent $8 billion on 5G by 30 June 2019.