Telstra is promising 5G services in Australia by 2019

High speed, low latency, and virtually no buffering -- the promises of 5G are epic. Now, Telstra has told us when the future will arrive.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
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  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly
2 min read

Telstra wants to hook you up to 5G and it's marked down 2019 as the year it's going to happen.

The telco today announced its roadmap for rolling out 5G across Australia, confirming it plans to offer its first commercial 5G services in 2019.

The company entered the 5G race in earnest in 2016, with its first ever field trial of the technology in Melbourne, as well as the announcement of a AU$1.5 billion funding boost to develop future networks.

Telstra's not alone in wanting to own 5G. In Australia, Optus is using its sponsorship of April's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast to showcase the technology to the public (Telstra has opened its own Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast lest it be forgotten in the branding race). Carriers around the world are also pushing further into public trials, with 18 global carriers promising 5G speed trials in 2018.

But before 5G is switched on for the public to start using, the world's telcos, chip manufacturers and handset manufacturers need to work with regulators to set the standards of how the technology will work.

That could happen as early as September, when the global industry body the 3GPP is set to meet in Australia (you guessed it, on the Gold Coast). After that, carriers will be able to get their 5G networks up and running and handset makers will be able to make phones capable of actually using those 5G networks. 

This year, we can expect more leaps on the way to 5G, with Telstra promising the rollout of 2Gbps speeds using 4G technology for "high traffic areas" as well as ongoing 5G trials. 

Speaking at Telstra's half-yearly results announcement on Feb. 15, CEO Andy Penn said there was a lot of excitement around the technology. 

"There's no doubt 2018 is going to be a very important year for 5G from a global perspective," said Penn. 

"As data demand continues to grow, and streaming services continue to grow and we move to high-def and 4K, you're going to need that capacity and bandwidth and speed.­­ And 5G will be able to deliver."