From today 5G becomes a reality for Australia. With the launch of our first 5G device, the HTC 5G Hub, you can now experience the super-fast response times, high-speed data and additional capacity the new technology provides.

When we launched 4G we couldn’t have predicted how much video we would end up watching on our mobiles, and as we launch 5G we can only begin to imagine the possibilities it will bring.

5G will be a game changer for a range of applications where speed and quick response times (latency) are important, including 4K video, gaming and other new technologies that require advanced connectivity such as autonomous driving.

Our investment in bringing 5G to life for Australia is significant. It’s the culmination of our investment of around $8 billion in our mobile network over the last five years (to 30 June 2019) to enhance the capacity, capability and reach it provides.

As we continue to grow our 5G coverage, and more devices become available over time, we want to give people the opportunity to experience what 5G has to offer and be clear on where it is and will be available.

We have already started building out our 5G coverage in some areas and, as we did with 3G and 4G, we will progressively roll out the new technology over time.

We have started rolling out 5G in 10 cities around Australia. Over the next 12 months or so we expect our 5G coverage to increase in area almost five-fold and reach into at least 35 Australian cities.

Importantly, all of Telstra’s 5G devices will work in our 5G and 4GX coverage areas, to provide customers our best possible mobile speeds available.

As technology evolves, the way we use mobile data is changing. Not long ago we were just using it for text messaging and accessing information online. Now we’ve added listening to music, watching sport and entertainment and posting to social. The launch of 5G will bring advancements in mobile gaming, virtual reality experiences, HD video conferencing and other apps not yet thought of.

While the high speed and low latency 5G will provide will be enormously beneficial for some, we know not everyone is necessarily going to need it or value it.

At the end of June we will be launching our new mobile plans, as part of our effort to greatly reduce the number of plans we have in market. Our customers will decide on the core connectivity plan they want and then have the flexibility to choose what they want to add to their service. This could include a new handset, wireless earphones or video streaming service.

We also think customers choosing different connectivity experiences will become a big part of how mobility services are sold in thefuture. Customers will choose the data inclusions they want as a base plan, and then have the option to tailor a connectivity “add on” to suit different uses.

Our overriding principle is for our customers to have the freedom and flexibility to choose the experiences they value and not pay for experiences they don’t.

So as we build out 5G we’re taking a different approach.

To start with, when we launch our new plans in late June, we will make 5G available for free for a minimum of 12 months, so everyone with a compatible device has the opportunity to try 5G when they are in a 5G coverage area.

Once this free trial period ends, customers on our top two plans will have 5G connectivity included in their plan at no extra charge, and customers on our other plans will have the option of adding 5G connectivity for $15 a month.

Customer who buy a 5G enabled device before we launch our new plans, or are a part of the Samsung S10+ upgrade program, will receive 5G access for no additional charge for the life of their contract.

Over time, we believe it won’t just be 5G access customers can choose. We expect there will be a range of differentiated connectivity experiences customers could opt in to – whether this is low latency gaming or AR/VR experiences, or high bandwidth use cases leveraging millimetre wave 5G in the future.