Telstra has completed testing on its low band 5G spectrum, deeming it ready for commercial use.
As a result of tests and its network rollout, which began in November last year, parts of Telstra's network can support a 5G data session over distances surpassing 80 kilometres.
The low band uses 850MHz — spectrum that is typically used for the telco’s 3G network. Telstra claims traffic for that network has been declining, however, so part of the spectrum was repurposed for 5G services, along with maintaining existing 3G services.
“The addition of low band 5G to our network is going to offer greater depth to our 5G coverage and help us bring 5G to some hard to reach places – another part of our drive to make 5G accessible to as many Australians as possible,” said Telstra's network technology development and solutions executive Channa Seneviratne.
Following the completion of the low band 5G spectrum tests, the telco is pursuing other improvements to its 5G network.
“We are continuing to test and optimise 5G, work that will unlock further advanced 5G capabilities such as the aggregation of more carrier frequencies, lower latency like the ~ 5mSec we demonstrated previously and the progression of the 5G StandAlone Network which we first enabled in May 2020,” Seneviratne said.
“We are also readying the 700MHz spectrum to add to our low band 5G.”
Telstra’s low band 5G spectrum efforts comes less than a week after Macquarie Telecom ended its wholesale mobile contract agreement with the telco, replacing it with one from Optus that enabled it to offer 5G services.
The decision to go with Optus’ wholesale offering, according to parent company Macquarie Telecom Group, was due to its focus on collaboration, its 5G network and its commitment to future technologies.
It also comes months after Telstra announced its 5G rollout passed the 50 per cent population coverage mark, with it on track in January to reach 75 per cent by the middle of the year.