Today, we took another important step forward in our roadmap to deploy the next generation of mobile technology and offer 5G services in 2019.
We are using the connectivity inside our recently opened 5G Gold Coast Innovation Centre located at the Telstra Exchange in Southport to power a series of Wi-Fi hotspots in the area. This will be the first precinct of 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in the world, allowing Gold Coast locals and visitors to enjoy free broadband while we evaluate 5G technology.
We’re excited to be taking 5G technology out of a lab into the hands of consumers in time for Easter, with an influx of tourists expected on the Gold Coast in the coming weeks. There are no 5G compatible commercial smartphones or tablets available today. By connecting 5G backhaul and infrastructure in the Southport Exchange to a standard Wi-Fi access point, then people can use the technology on their existing device.
Wi-Fi has limited throughput, so a single hotspot alone cannot come close to reaching the limits of 5G at our Innovation Centre, where we are achieving download speeds of more than 3Gbps. By using multiple hotspots, with potentially hundreds of smartphone users served through a single 5G device, we are able to get closer to 5G in a real world environment.
We are also using mmWave spectrum and our 5G Gold Coast Innovation Centre to put a connected car on the road with the Intel 5G Automotive Trial Platform, one of the most advanced 5G prototype devices available in the world today. We are still in the early stages of development and are already achieving download speeds approaching 1Gbps inside the car. The vehicle is also equipped with a Wi-Fi access point.
Our 5G Connected Car shows how quickly the technology is evolving. At the start of the year our 5G prototype device was the size of a bar fridge and weighed over 200 kilograms. Now with the help of Ericsson and Intel we have one that has been shrunk down to the size of a personal computer and can be installed in a car.
If you’re in the Gold Coast in the weeks ahead, try out the 5G enabled Wi-Fi – and keep an eye out for our 5G Connected Car!
Accessing 5G enabled Wi-Fi in Southport
We have turned on several 5G Gold Coast enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in Southport. These hotspots are located on Scarborough and Nerang Streets in Southport and will be identified as “Telstra_5G_Free_Wi-Fi”.
People will need to opt-in to connect to the Wi-Fi. Access to the Wi-Fi will be free and open to anyone in the area, and with a download limit of 10 GB per day per device.
Actual speeds on any of the hotspots will be lower than the maximum, limited by the Wi-Fi throughput, and will vary depending on factors such as the type of device being used, distance from the hotspot, and the number of people connected to the hotspot at the one time.
Taking 5G tech out of a lab is another key milestone on @Telstra’s roadmap to offering 5G services in 2019. Check out Australia’s 1st 5G Connected Car on the Gold Coast thx to our work with @EricssonAUSTNZ & @Intelanz @Telstra pic.twitter.com/9MjZD8N2Hm
— Andrew Penn (@andy_penn) March 28, 2018