5G | Network | Tech and Innovation |

Our IoT networks are joining the 5G family: future-proofing for years to come

By Channa Seneviratne June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things is the massive network of connected tech you probably never see. But despite its subtle appearance, IoT is rapidly changing the way we live.

We already have two complementary network layers that cater to large-scale IoT deployments: NB-IoT and LTE-M (also known as Cat-M1).

Our Internet of Things networks have gone from strength-to-strength in a matter of years being deployed nationally right across our 4G 700MHz network and covering three million square kilometres with LTE-M technology. With recent breakthroughs on maximum coverage distance per site for narrowband our NB-IoT coverage now reaches nearly four million square kilometres.

The latest news is that both our LTE-M and NB-IoT are now formally recognised as 5G technologies, meaning we have a big head start in helping to deliver massive IoT through the fifth-generation of mobile network development. The global mobile network standards body’s (3GPP) acceptance of our existing Narrowband (NB-IoT) and Cat M1 IoT technologies as 5G IoT technologies means we can continue to support these technologies even beyond the lifespan of 4G.

NB-IoT is designed for carrying very small packets from simple devices, peaking at transfer rates less than 200kbps. That’s perfect for devices that only need to send a tiny amount of data, like water management, location management, and industrial sensors.

LTE-M, meanwhile, is designed for more complex devices that require more frequent interaction with the network. LTE-M connections are better for devices that you need to be mobile and reporting multiple sets of data such as positioning information like asset tracking.

Since we launched our NB-IoT and LTE-M networks, we’ve helped government and businesses of all sizes around the country learn more and optimise their operations.

Agbyte - The rise of the smart farmer with Internet of Things technology

Farmers are using the network to track water supply and help regulate deliveries for less waste in their supply chain. Hospitals are using the network to track down life-saving equipment, helping save crucial time and valuable resources. Logistics companies are using it to track freight across the country and give customers better insights into how their deliveries move. We’re even selling a LTE-M-enabled device to help you keep better track of your expensive gear. And we’re only making the networks that power these incredible innovations better as time goes on. For example, we recently announced the expansion of our NB-IoT network to cover almost 4 million square kilometres, by extending site range from 100km up to 120km.

With both LTE-M and NB-IoT now adopted into the 5G family of technologies, they continue to drive a massive expansion of connected things. This expansion into the 5G future allows our customers to embrace LTE-M and NB-IoT with confidence in the technology’s long-term future.

IoT smart industry robot within agriculture field

5G is a networking shorthand for the fifth-generation of mobile connectivity standards. Each generation – from 1G through to 5G – has brought with it a brighter future. 5G will deliver speeds, network capacity, and via LTE-M and NB-IoT bring scale to potentially connect billions of things globally that we’d only previously dreamed of. The global standards recognition here means our NB-IoT and LTE-M networks won’t be supplanted by the new 5G technology. Instead, these technologies will go from strength-to-strength together as 5G technologies evolve, with the capability to power massive IoT projects around Australia and the world.

Future 5G capabilities are expected to move in lockstep with IoT networks to provide ultra-reliable low latency communications and by leveraging these capabilities of 5G for IoT, we’ll be able to expand the role of connected devices to enable incredible new advances both in nationwide and hyper-localised settings.

These massive IoT deployments can benefit just about every industry. Connected transport, drones, healthcare and infrastructure could communicate with centralised dashboards to help the nation move more smoothly. Meanwhile, IoT deployed in industrial settings such as factories where collaborative robotics could receive almost instantaneous responses from machines around them to enable faster and smarter manufacturing.

Global IoT connections will simultaneously increase in tandem from the 8.6 billion connections at the end of 2018, to an expected whopping 22.3 billion by 2024, all driven by NB-IoT, LTE-M and the future 5G Industrial IoT standard all delivered by 4G and 5G connectivity.

Connectivity – like 5G – brings with it exciting opportunities for business, health, safety and innovation. We’ll continue to improve our NB-IoT and LTE-M offerings as we roll-out 5G to more places in Australia.

We're ahead of schedule on 5G
5G |

We’re delivering 5G ahead of schedule

By Channa Seneviratne May 26, 2020

One year ago, we set a bold goal: to have our incredible new 5G technology switched on in at least 35 Australian cities before June 2020. We’re officially ahead of schedule, with 47 cities now able to enjoy 5G and experience the future of connectivity.

We’re proud to have Australia’s best 5G available to more than 8 million Australians who now live, work and pass through our network footprint every day. We’re making sure we do everything to give Aussies access to 5G as quickly as possible. 

Aussies in these suburbs are already using the network to do incredible things, with around 660 terabytes already downloaded over 5G on compatible devices. That’s equivalent to around 1 million standard-definition movies! 

This significant milestone means that more than 700 suburbs across Australia are now more than 50 per cent covered by 5G, with some covered up to 100 per cent well ahead of schedule. 

It’s also an important milestone of Telstra’s T22 strategy, which is underpinned by our aim to have the largest, fastest, safest, smartest and most reliable next generation network.

To illustrate our progress, we’ve updated our Mobile Coverage Maps, so you can see where Telstra’s 5G technology is available, as well as 3G and 4G. This will help you understand exactly where our network reaches, and where it’s planned to go next with a new view that projects where we’ll be with our coverage in the next three months.  

We’ll continue to update these maps and our network projections as we continue to roll out 5G to more cities around the country. 

The next step in our 5G journey is to bring more of the latest technology to you even faster. We’re announcing today the release of our newest 5G mobile broadband modem: the Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro, which supports cutting-edge mmWave 5G. 

mmWave – pronounced “millimetre wave” – is a short-range, high-frequency network technology that will supercharge 5G. mmWave’s large bandwidth allows greater capacity in small defined areas, making it ideal for high-speed wireless communications, particularly in high-density areas such as metro cities, train stations, sport stadiums and other locations with a high concentration of people using their mobile devices. For more on its capabilities, we’ve put together a detailed explainer. 

mmWave won’t be auctioned off until 2021 but we are busy testing to make sure our network is ready. And because we already have three test sites live on our network, if you happen to live near one of these locations and own a Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro, you might accidentally find yourself benefiting from the next iteration of 5G before anyone else in Australia. 

These three key milestones in our 5G journey represent another big leap forward for us. We’ll continue to work hard rolling Australia’s best 5G out so more of you can enjoy this great leap forward in connectivity. 

 

47 cities with 5G 

Canberra  ACT 
Albury Wodonga  NSW 
Bathurst  NSW 
Central Coast  NSW 
Coffs Harbour  NSW 
Deniliquin  NSW 
Dubbo  NSW 
Goulburn  NSW 
Grafton  NSW 
Griffith  NSW 
Kempsey  NSW 
Lithgow  NSW 
Maitland  NSW 
Murwillumbah  NSW 
Newcastle  NSW 
Port Macquarie  NSW 
Portland  NSW 
Sydney  NSW 
Wagga Wagga  NSW 
Brisbane  QLD 
Bundaberg  QLD 
Cairns  QLD 
Gladstone  QLD 
Gold Coast  QLD 
Ipswich  QLD 
Mackay  QLD 
Rockhampton  QLD 
Toowoomba  QLD 
Townsville  QLD 
Warwick  QLD 
Adelaide  SA 
Mt Gambier  SA 
Hobart  TAS 
Launceston  TAS 
Ballarat  VIC 
Bendigo  VIC 
Geelong  VIC 
Hamilton  VIC 
Horsham  VIC 
Kyneton  VIC 
Melbourne  VIC 
Mildura  VIC 
Swan Hill  VIC 
Wallan  VIC 
Warrnambool  VIC 
Busselton  WA 
Perth  WA 
Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro
5G | Devices |

Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro: meet our best 5G mobile broadband device yet

By Luke Hopewell May 26, 2020

You’ve been waiting for it, and it’s finally here. The Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro with mmWave support is launching today, and it has the need for 5G speed like never before.

Available from today, the Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro really is the most advanced mobile broadband modem we’ve ever carried.  

First and foremost, it supports our incredible 5G technology*, as well as our advanced 4GX service for incredible speed in a variety of locations. Our 5G rollout has been going from strength-to-strength, and we’re now ahead of schedule with selected areas of 47 cities and regional towns now able to enjoy Australia’s best 5G network. 

The Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro also has the power to access our newly-announced mmWave testing sites for a taste of the next wave of 5G speed in your pocket (or laptop bag) today. 

Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro

mmWave – pronounced “millimetre wave” – is a short-range, high-frequency network technology that will supercharge 5G. mmWave’s large bandwidths allow greater capacity in small defined areas, making it ideal for high-speed wireless communications, particularly in high-density areas such as metro cities, train stations, sport stadiums , and other locations with a high concentration of people using their mobile devices. For more on its capabilities, we’ve put together a detailed explainer. 

mmWave spectrum won’t be auctioned off until 2021, but we’re able to give our customers early access to this new technology even sooner. Anyone who owns the new Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro will be able to benefit from this technology on our three live testing sites before anyone else. 

Along with mmWave compatibility, the Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro packs a powerful processor and the support for Wi-Fi 6. This means that the 5G Wi-Fi Pro can support up to 30 Wi-Fi enabled devices (15 each on 2.4 & 5 GHz). Or if you want to supercharge your connectivity, a wired connection supports Gigabit speeds for pro by name, pro by nature performance. 

At just over a super-light 200 grams and with a 4500mAh battery that lasts up to 9 hours, it’s ready to grab-and-go right out of the box.And tracking your usage is easy with a 2.4-inch touchscreen that shows you how you’re travelling throughout the month. 

The Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro is available from today for $599 outright, or $24.95 per month over 24 months. Telstra Plus members who order online are also in for a treat, with up to 100,000 points available as a bonus 

*Where available. Check our Mobile Coverage Maps for more information.  

Unveiling our first 5G device, after a year of network evolution
5G | Network |

We’re the first to enable standalone 5G in Australia

By Nikos Katinakis May 1, 2020

We’ve reached another milestone in delivering the full power of 5G to Australia. Our mobile network is now end-to-end enabled for 5G Standalone (5G SA), increasing efficiency and enabling new and innovative uses for mobile technology at the same time. 

This upgrade means that 5G Standalone capable devices will be able to operate purely in 5G mode, without the support of underlying 4G technology as occurs today. We’re also underway with our early testing of the first of these devices, which should become available to our customers from late 2020. 

Standalone 5G uses the 5G network for data transfer just like our existing non-standalone 5G, but also uses 5G for the signalling communication between device and base station. That communication happening over 5G means many more devices can communicate simultaneously, at higher speeds, and in many more complex ways than 4G can. We’re the first telco in Australia to enable Standalone 5G across our network, and one of the first in the world. 

As is often the case with our mobile networks, the work to switch on Standalone 5G has mostly happened behind the scenes, but it has been a mammoth task. Working together with our technology partner Ericsson, we’ve enabled new 5G service-based architecture, upgrading our 5G radio network coverage footprint across Australia with a Cloud Native 5G Core Network to handle this standalone traffic. 

The largest and most transformational benefits of 5G – ultra-reliable low latency, much higher capacity, massive machine type communications and advanced functions like network slicing where we can optimise portions of our network for specific customers’ needs – are only possible with Standalone 5G. 

5G Standalone brings with it capabilities that will allow us to deliver a range of new services delivering the right connectivity, capacity and speed for individual applications. The end-to-end network is effectively “sliced” according to the requirements (connectivity, capacity and speed) of the application.  

This milestone is a big one for those reasons, but we’ll also continue to evolve the capability of 5G as the technology itself develops so we can bring the latest advantages of 5G to our customers. 

We’re already talking with some of our partners to see what they can do with this new upgrade to 5G. The capability is now in place for some exciting innovations from our enterprise business partners – for example, a branch office of a bank may be able to stand up and operate multiple applications and services using only a 5G Standalone capable device for network access, massively reducing the infrastructure required to set up. 

We’re proud to be leading the way in Australia and around the world in ensuring our customers have early access to all the benefits of advancing 5G technology. This upgrade means that our customers will not only have access to Australia’s best 5G*, but they can also start to explore what can be done with the best 5G network experience.   

 

Things you need to know 

* Telstra has rolled out coverage to selected areas in Australia. Find 5G coverage maps on our Coverage page.

5G | Network |

5G health concerns and COVID-19: the facts

By Mike Wood April 17, 2020

We’re aware of some concern in the community about a potential link between 5G technology and the novel Coronavirus (also called SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19). We want to be clear: there are no established health effects from 5G in relation to the Coronavirus. These claims have no basis in science, and they have been dismissed by both the Australian and global scientific and healthcare communities.

What is 5G?

We’re at the forefront of 5G in Australia, with our nationwide roll-out of 5G already in all major Australian cities, with plans to expand to more cities, regional centres and high-traffic areas in 2020 and beyond.

5G is the fifth generation of mobile network technology, following 2G, 3G and 4G. It has the potential to offer super-fast connections and response times and more capacity than previous generations and is designed to meet the needs of the large growth in demand for data and connectivity from our customers and businesses.

Is 5G safe?

Yes.

This is an important question and in January 2020 Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy issued the following statement to reassure Australians:

I’d like to reassure the community that 5G technology is safe.  There is no evidence telecommunication technologies, such as 5G, cause adverse health impacts.  This position is supported by health authorities in Australia – such as the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) – and around the world, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). 

‏‏‎(Source: https://www.health.gov.au/news/safety-of-5g-technology)

‏‎At Telstra we have done extensive testing on our 5G network with specialised equipment and the EME levels measured were found to be well below the safety limits, and in many cases over a thousand times lower.

Read more about the facts on 5G EME and our testing to ensure we comply with the safety limits.

5G and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As 5G networks continue to roll out around the world, some people have associated the technology with the spread of the novel Coronavirus (or the disease it causes, COVID-19). This is just not true.

The World Health Organisation has advised that “COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.”

Droplets – and any viruses in them – cannot travel through radio signals emitted by mobile networks of any generation.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has also issued its own advice, stating that 5G and other telecommunications systems do not affect the immune system:

“There is no established evidence that low level radio wave exposure from 5G and other wireless telecommunications can affect the immune system or cause any other long term or short term health effects,” ARPANSA said in its advice.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organisation advises you to:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds (or use an alcohol-based hand rub);
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze;
  • Avoid close contact with other people (1.5 metre distance);
  • Stay home and self-isolate from others if you feel unwell, and
  • Not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

More information on COVID-19, including protecting yourself, can be found through the Australian Department of Health.