Australia's Telstra has leveraged its dominant market position to secure exclusive early access to a number of 5G smartphones for the first half of 2019.
The operator announced at last week's CES trade show that it has entered partnerships with “some of the world's biggest brands” to offer a number of 5G handsets to Telstra customers first, before any other Australian mobile operator.
The names of the partners and the terms of the agreements have not been disclosed. But Telstra CEO Andy Penn said the company is holding ongoing discussions with a number of device manufacturers.
“This is the year of 5G and, as a world leader in the testing and development of 5G, we have been working closely with numerous global manufacturing and industry partners to make this revolutionary technology real-world ready,” he said at the show.
“These strategic relationships are now paying off directly for our customers, who will soon have exclusive access to 5G enabled devices on the nation’s largest and fastest mobile network, and other devices will also soon hit our stores.”
As of the end of 2018, Telstra had deployed more than 200 5G base stations across the nation, Penn said. The operator also recently announced it had selected Ericsson as its key partner for its 5G rollout.