Telstra plans to ramp up 4G speeds in the lead-up to its full 5G rollout

Telstra used the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, to release plans for its 2019 5G rollout.

According to the road map, Telstra has invested $1.5 billion into what the telco is calling the “Future program”, with initial work on the new 5G infrastructure to wind up by June 2019.

Before that, however, trials will be carried out with vendor partners at the new 5G Innovation Centre established on the Gold Coast. This will be followed with 4G-5G integration trials, including interoperability testing for the new 5G Non Stand-Alone (NSA) 3GPP New Radio (NR) standard.

“It’s not a case of simply flicking a switch in 2019,” said Telstra’s Chief Operating Officer Robyn Denholm. “We are already working with vendors like Ericsson, Qualcomm and Intel today to develop the end-to-end 5G ecosystem. At the same time we are pushing the boundaries of 4G so we can continue to offer Australia’s largest and fastest mobile network and prepare for the 4G and 5G technology layers to integrate in future.”

Telstra will also participate in a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) meeting this year “to consider 5G commercial standards”.

Double the speed

While we wait for the 5G network to roll out in 2019, Telstra has promised to increase the speed on its current 4G setup; a planned rollout of 2Gbps-enabled 4G service will begin this year in “select high traffic locations”, made possible by the deployment of over 1,000 cells in metro areas.

“Australian consumers and businesses don’t need to wait for 5G to enjoy fast mobile speeds,” Mike Wright, Telstra’s Group Managing Director Networks, added. “We are deploying the best technology available in the world today to support every growing demand for data and speed from our customers.”

Although Telstra has already demonstrated the double-speed capacity 4G network in Australia, the telco plans to showcase it live at the MWC again.

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  • MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.
Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.