5G getting a foothold in Australia

19 Dec 2018

Australia’s Telstra has announced it has switched on the first 5G cell sites in Melbourne and Sydney after being granted early access to its new 3.6-GHz spectrum.

The operator has deployed 5G base stations at Sydney Airport, the Telstra Labs centre in Melbourne and Telstra’s Customer Insight Centre in Sydney, and will soon launch a base station at Melbourne Airport.

According to Telstra, the operator has now completed 187 5G upgrades across Australia, including in capital city Canberra, as well as most state capitals.

The operator this week became the first to acquire an early access license from regulator ACMA covering the 3.6-GHz spectrum sold during an auction held last week.

During the auction, Telstra paid A$386.01 million ($277.4 million) to acquire 143 lots of 3.6-GHz spectrum across multiple territories, making it the largest individual bidder.

“5G is expected to completely transform the mobile landscape and Telstra will continue to lead and bring this technology to Australians first,” Telstra CEO Andy Penn said.

“Over the coming months Telstra will continue expanding its 5G coverage, with plans to roll out the technology and grow coverage to more cities, regional centers and high traffic areas.”

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