Telstra has unveiled world’s first connection of a 5G mid-band commercial device — the HTC 5G Hub mobile smart device.
Built in collaboration with Telstra, it is expected to be one of the first commercial 5G devices available for Telstra customers in 2019.
The device was on display and was demonstrated working on Telstra’s production network in Sydney early this month.
“Telstra’s 5G development and testing in real world environments is crucial to ensure Australians are among the first in the world to have access to 5G devices such as the HTC 5G Hub,” said CEO Andrew Penn during the company’s 5G Update in Sydney.
Telstra also revealed a 5G smartphone prototype from ZTE and a 5G mobile hotspot prototype from Inseego, who are among a range of technology vendors currently testing 5G devices with Telstra.
Telstra had started switching on 5G technology in August 2018 and now has 130 sites around Australia have been 5G-enabled, with another 70 to be upgraded before the end of this calendar year.
“Hand in hand with our 5G rollout and supported by our network partner Ericsson, the 200 base stations we are enabling with 5G before the end of the year will also support peak speeds approaching 2Gbps# for enhanced 4G,” Penn said.
The Australian telecommunications company revealed that it has invested around AU$8 billion in its mobile network over the five years to 30 June 2019 to enhance the capacity.
On December 11, 2018, Telstra also announced its first connected a customer with a commercial 5G device on its 5G network — Toowoomba-based FKG Group, a commercial construction and civil engineering company.
FKG will use the first iteration of the HTC 5G Hub mobile broadband device, which it said will hopefully allow exploration of transport, logistics and agribusiness use cases.
“We expect a range of devices to become commercially available in the first half of 2019 and as soon as they are launched at scale, we will begin to offer them to customers,” Penn said.
Toowoomba was the first regional center to be upgraded and there are now 22 5G-enabled sites in the area, where FKG is located.