Telstra launches 5G-powered Wi-Fi hotspots

03 Apr 2018

Australia's Telstra has launched what it says are the first 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in the world as part of its ongoing evaluation of 5G technology.

The new hotspots on the Gold Coast in Queensland will provide locals and visitors with access to free broadband services during the evaluation period. The open hotspots will provide up to 10GB of downloads per device per day.

They will be managed by Telstra's recently-launched 5G innovation center on the Gold Coast. Telstra has connected 5G backhaul and related infrastructure in the Southport Exchange in the city to allow connections to the 5G network over Wi-Fi on existing devices.

“Wi-Fi has limited throughput so a single hotspot alone cannot come close to reaching the limits of 5G at our Innovation Center,” Telstra group managing director for networks Mike Wright said.

“By using multiple hotspots with potentially hundreds of smartphone users served through a single 5G device we are able to get closer to demonstrating 5G in a real world environment. Our 5G backhaul is capable of delivering download speeds of more than 3 Gbps.”

Telstra is also using its new 5G innovation center to power a connected car trial using the Intel 5G Automotive Trial Platform.

Wright said the trial is in the very early stages of development but the company is still achieving download speeds approaching 1Gbps inside the car, which is also equipped with a Wi-Fi access point.

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