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Telstra Testing Done, Low-Band 5G Ready

Australian telecom giant Telstra has announced the completion of testing on its low-band 5G spectrum, saying that it’s now ready for commercial use.

This low band sits at 850MHz on the spectrum that Telstra currently uses for its 3G network. But with 3G traffic now falling away, this portion of the spectrum is freed up and can be re-purposed for more 5G services, all the while keeping 3G going.

Testing and rollout started in November 2020, and now parts of Telstra’s network can facilitate a 5G data session across distances exceeding 80km.

Channa Seneviratne, who runs Telstra’s technology development says, “The addition of low-band 5G to our network is going to offer greater depth to our 5G coverage and help us bring 5G to some hard-to-reach places – another part of our drive to make 5G accessible to as many Australians as possible.”

Currently, Telstra has about 1,200 sites with the new software, ready for third generation 5G devices.

It’s also working with ecosystem partners to optimise this new 5G network capability in combination with new device software.

“We are continuing to test and optimise 5G – work that will unlock further advanced 5G capabilities such as the aggregation of more carrier frequencies; lower latency like the ~5mSec we demonstrated previously; and the progression of the 5G Standalone network, which we first enabled in May 2020,” Seneviratne stated. “We are also readying the 700MHz spectrum to add to our low-band 5G.”

Telstra has started the rollout of 5G in more than 100 cities and towns and 2000 suburbs across the country. There are 3,000 5G sites now on-air across Australia, with more than half of Australia’s population now living within Telstra’s 5G footprint.

The telco company has made a commitment to roll out its 5G network to 75 per cent of Australia’s population by the end of June 2021.

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