We’re on the ground at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona – and it’s a big year at the world’s premier expo of smartphones and mobile technology. This is the year of 5G, and that means a swathe of new, bleeding-edge smartphones and mobile broadband devices.

MWC always promises a dizzying array of new gadgets on show, but it’s an especially big year because this is the year where we’ll see the first 5G smartphones on display – and later this year, they’ll finally be in your hands too. We’ll be bringing you all the big news as it happens, so make sure you check in over the week to find out more.

Wednesday 27 February:

We’ve announced a partnership Software AG and with Busselton Water in Western Australia to trial a proof-of-concept water management platform using the Internet of Things, combining energy-efficient wireless sensors connected to our mobile network and software to track water usage and consumption.

Conserving water with IoT: our partnership with Busselton Water and Software AG

Water is a scarce resource, and conserving it wherever possible is a constant process of research and development. New and innovative solutions like IoT make intelligent sensing possible, with benefits for individual customers like detecting pressure drops from blockages or leaks in water infrastructure and more detailed usage and consumption information.

Our CEO Andrew Penn also spoke to technology news site CyberShack, outlining our future plans for 5G and its potential for consumers and businesses, as well as the devices we’ll be bringing to Australia:

Our CTO Håkan Eriksson also spoke to TechNative about our global IoT partnership with Ericsson, which allows global enterprise businesses to track and manage their IoT devices in Australia from anywhere in the world:

Tuesday 26 February:

Our CEO Andrew Penn took part in the Bloomberg CEO Forum at MWC this year, speaking on how 5G will change enterprise businesses:

We’ve also unveiled the HTC 5G Hub: a 5G mobile Wi-Fi hotspot that we developed in collaboration with HTC. You can connect up to 20 Wi-Fi devices to the 5G Hub, and it has a screen that can show data usage and current activity.

The HTC 5G Hub has successfully been connected to our 5G service – the first in Australia and the first 5G mid-band device in the world to do so. Subject to further testing, the 5G Hub will be the first commercial 5G mobile hotspot that we will retail in the first half of 2019.

We’re not leaving 4G behind in our push to be first on 5G, though. Two years after we launched the world’s fastest mobile hotspot – the gigabit-capable NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 – and then doubled those download speeds in network testing in 2018, we’re back with an upgrade: the NETGEAR Nighthawk M2 mobile router.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M2 mobile router

Following in the footsteps of the hugely successful first Nighthawk mobile router, the Nighthawk M2 supports even faster 4G mobile standards and is capable of typical download speeds of 5-500Mbps and typical upload speeds of 1-40Mbps in 4GX coverage areas.

Monday 25 February:

We’ve landed and we’re off to a strong start at MWC this year. We’ve announced some exclusive device partnerships with the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers and 5G innovators, with more announcements and exclusives still to come.

These exclusive partnerships mean you’ll have access to a range of 5G smartphones on the Telstra mobile network before any other Australian mobile operator, when those devices are released in the first half of 2019.

We also announced our intent to work closely with the Commonwealth Bank and our technology partner Ericsson to imagine what the bank of the future looks like, trialing 5G and edge computing to simplify the complicated technology requirements at bank branches. Edge compute might also make innovative features like face and fingerprint recognition possible for everyday banking.

Our collaboration with the Commonwealth Bank and Ericsson is the first of its kind in Australia to bring technology providers and the financial services sector together in exploring 5G edge computing use cases and network architectures.

We’ve also announced another partnership with Ericsson, building on the successful rollout of our nationwide Internet of Things capabilities on our mobile network. We’re opening up our IoT connectivity to global enterprises through Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform, letting those businesses track and manage IoT devices on our mobile network from anywhere in the world.

From March 30, our enterprise customers will be able to manage, access and track their linked IoT devices and assets at a local, national, or global level – bringing together more than 20 operators from over 100 countries in a unified view of devices and networks.

Friday 22 February:

We’re ready for 5G. We’ve launched over 200 5G base stations around Australia in major CBDs and regional areas, and more are on the way in 2019 and beyond in time for the first 5G devices to arrive. Our current 5G upgrades are also expected to help deliver world leading 4G speeds, further improving the network experience for our customers here and now.

In the days before MWC gets underway, we’ve already seen some huge news for smartphone geeks and 5G nerds: Samsung took the wraps off its Galaxy S10 smartphone range, and teased its Galaxy S10 5G handset – which we’ll release later this year as the first mobile operator in Australia to do so. Even better, we’re giving you an opportunity to upgrade to 5G at no extra cost if you purchase a Samsung Galaxy S10+.

Here’s our CEO Andy Penn talking about Samsung’s new phone and our 5G upgrade offer.

We’ll be updating this blog with exclusive news, announcements and plenty of other tidbits from the MWC show floor throughout the week – stay tuned.