The rollout of the 5G network continues apace, with Telstra informing shareholders at their annual general meeting this week of their plans to have around 200 5G sites live by the end of the year.
We checked out the 5G network earlier this year in the Gold Coast, where Telstra was showcasing the higher speed and lower latency of the 5G network with some Counter-Strike.
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Back then, the expectation was that Telstra’s 5G network would go online sometime in the second half of next year. Most people’s phones don’t have support for 5G yet, and the recently released flaghips – Huawei Mate 20 Pro, iPhone XS/XS Max and the Pixel 3/3 XL – don’t have 5G connectivity.
Telcos still need to get the network ready, however. And in remarks at the annual general meeting, Telstra CEO Andy Penn confirmed they would have “more than 200 5G sites” running by the end of 2018:
Also in April we trialled Australia’s first 5G connected car. We are also already rolling out 5G technology on our network and have more than 200 5G sites planned to be live around Australia by the end of this calendar year. While commercial devices for 5G are not yet available our 5G readiness program means we can trial and test them as soon as the manufacturers make them. As I mentioned in my opening, it is not just 5G on its own, 5G is happening at a time many other technologies are arriving at scale.
Telstra already announced earlier this year that the “full commercial deployment” of the 5G network across urban and regional areas wouldn’t happen until the 2019-20 financial year, after 5G-enabled handsets had become more widely available.